In the spring I went to New York City for two days to appear on the Dr. Oz show. The trip was fun enough that I wondered if maybe I should consider living in the city, but a more recent trip of four days destroyed that notion. When not on a psychological high from appearing on national television, all the flaws of New York hit me hard enough that I’m sure it won’t be my future home. Here are the reasons why…
1. It smells
It’s hard to walk more than two blocks without being assaulted by an offensive odor, either from sewage or garbage. One of the reasons is that New York doesn’t put their garbage in containers to lessen the odors. Third world sanitation practices haven’t yet made its way to the city.
2. It’s loud
Have you not had a headache in a while? Would you like your mind to be constantly drowned out by loud noise from trains, cars, and crowds of people? Then move to New York where even in the middle of the night you will not escape the city that never stops honking. The only way to combat New York noise is through more noise, so people are essentially forced to wear headphones with loud music for much of the day. This greatly degrades their ability to think.
3. Walk, stop, wait
A huge chunk of your waking life in New York City can be boiled down to three words: walk, stop, wait. You walk a little while, you stop, and then you wait. You repeat this procedure more than 200 times a day. Just walking to the coffee shop nearby will involve at least ten instances of walking, stopping, and waiting. I can’t understand why human beings would want to be so deliberately herded around in such a manner.
4. The city is a mechanism for shearing sheep
Speaking of herding, the program operating in New York is this: a herd of people assemble into one location, “graze” on a product or service, then move on to the next grazing ground where they consume some more. The only catch is that each field they graze on gives them a haircut by taking their money (or at least tries to).
Many sheep spend time on a crowded subway car where they graze for a bit, exposing themselves to advertisements. Then they move to the hip Mexican joint. They graze there, spending $10 on a sandwich that photographs well on Instagram but is quite small and will require another feeding shortly. Then they go to the bar with their friends to graze but that gets boring quickly so they need to migrate after half an hour to another bar. Then they need to eat at a late-night joint. People in New York are constantly shuffled from one grazing pen to the next in a very literal sense.
Sheep hate being alone, so they actively seek out other sheep as a sign that the grazing ground is good. This is why so many New Yorkers will try to compliment a place by saying “It’s always crowded.” So you have sheep telling other sheep where it’s worth making donations of their wool, and the pattern continues every day. In fact, the crowdedness of the city itself is what entices so many South American and European sheep to move here (sheep must be around other sheep). You will never meet someone in New York who says “I like being alone” or “I don’t care for going out.” The city attracts people who get bored easily and need to follow the herd, while simultaneously convincing them that they are different from millions of others who are doing the exact same thing.
What got me is how efficient this machine is. Without even trying, money is escaping my pocket even though I had no need that required spending it. It just happens in New York that the only way to have “fun” is to spend quite a bit of money, if not on food and alcohol then on drugs and events. Going for a walk in Europe usually costs $0 but doing so in New York will involve a minimum of $40 and the inability to fully recall where it was all spent. The city put me in a capitalist hypnotic state where I wanted to give away my money as quickly as possible.
5. Relationships are sterile
It seems to be a rule that every girl who lives here is on birth control, meaning that you are also on low doses of birth control—and anti-depressants—if you just consume the city water. If you get into a relationship with a female resident, you definitely won’t be placed above her “lifestyle” or career, and the word I’m getting from guys who live here is that relationships are short indeed. If people love being herded from one grazing ground to the next, it’s no surprise that they also perform the same behavior with their lovers. If you live in New York, it’s impossible not to have a neverending string of casual relationships. You’ll need to sleep with at least ten people to have something resembling a normal relationship with one.
You’ll also have a dozen two minutes conversations per day that result in absolutely nothing, where you’re meeting people just for the sake of meeting people. And then you run into these people at some point in the future and wonder, “Where did I meet this person again?” Because there are so many human options, your brain gets quickly re-wired to be overly picky about who you develop relationships with, meaning that in a city where you are surrounded by millions, you’re intensely lonely.
6. It’s too diverse
Do people like diversity because of a natural urge within them or because they were told to like it? Some diversity is healthy but New York takes it to an extreme where you’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It’s just too mentally taxing to try connecting with people that come from entirely different places and backgrounds. Without strong physical attraction or a mutual shared interest, no friendship or love will result. When you’re young, meeting thousands of people a year from “all over the world” can be exciting, but if you already know the type of person you connect with best, it would be smarter to surround yourself with only those people.
My conclusion of New York is that it’s a great place where sheep can get slowly fleeced while thinking they are living in paradise because of the many food, entertainment, and human options on offer. The constant noise and action of the city makes it impossible for them not to think too deeply about their lives, but to work hard for money that they will immediately be donating back to the many wolves that prowl the grazing grounds.
For a man under 30 years old, I can see how this city could benefit his hustle and game, but after that it seems to be a way to limit a man’s self development by keeping him on a nonstop treadmill that lacks much in the way of deeper meaning or fulfillment. While there was a point I wondered if New York was right for me, I’m absolutely certain now that it’s not.