New York City: Unpopular opinion – NYC sucks


Photo courtesy of Willem Haenraets

New York City has a renowned worldwide reputation: it is the City of Dreams, the City That Never Sleeps, The Capital of the world and many more. But what is so special about New York City that makes people from all over the world fantasize about living there? Why are people all over the world captivated by it? With the constant hustle-and-bustle, the round-the-clock background noise of beeping cars and sirens and an unshakable layer of grime hanging over everything, New York is far from the glistening metropolis where the wildest dreams come true. The vibrant NYC that we dream of exists in one form or another, but is by no means reflective of the city, all things considered. 

The concepts of cities are just based on the stereotypes of the people, the community, the stories told by the news and the myths that movies and TV create. In materiality, a city is just buildings, and New York just happens to have a lot of them.

“Avengers,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Friends” and “Gossip Girl” all take place in NYC. On the screen New York is interesting, fun and full of adventures. However, the Hollywood version of NYC is vastly different from the actual city itself. The New York of the movies is a romanticized version of reality, one that does not let the audience doubt that it truly is the greatest city in the world. The movies will often avoid the staggeringly high cost of living, the filthy streets, the high crime rates or the growing homeless population. According to PayScale, New York’s cost of living is 129% higher than the national average, with rent for an apartment in Manhattan being nearly three times the national average and NYC residents spending 130% more than the national average on dining. 

After living in the suburbs and only having experienced NYC through television screens and pop-culture headlines, it is easy to be disappointed when faced with the truth. After all, it is a real place in the world, with dirt, homelessness, graffiti and other parts of reality that are not portrayed in television. This is not to say that NYC is not spectacular — it is. But it is not the seemingly perfect city that fictional characters inhabit. While worthy of its reputation, with all the arts, cultures and cuisine, NYC is simply not the greatest city on earth. 

New York City can be a place where dreams come true, or it can be a disgusting pigsty where you can barely make it through the night. 

Regardless, it is just a bunch of buildings.