Unlike most of the entire world's tourist population, I decided that I do not like New York City. I got back on Sunday morning and it couldn't have been soon enough. I don't think I could have lasted another second longer in that city.
There are some actual problems that I have with the city - one for example was the overwhelming heat while we were there. It was 30C plus and sweltering. The heat was stifling and it was inescapable - the buildings and never ending Tarmac of the city streets meant that the heat was trapped inside the city streets, rotting the garbage and melting the local population. The only place more unbearable because of this heat was the subway. The trains mind you - by comparison to the London Underground - are spacious and cool (air conditioned), but the tunnels of the subway, the platforms and waiting areas are hotter than Satan's own boudoir. I was a puddle of sweat by the time that I actually got on the trains. I can't say there is anything cute or chic about whisking one's way around the city in that heat. I entirely acknowledge that maybe my perception of the city was entirely skewed by this one factor.
One positive though was that walking around the city was like walking around some of my favourite movie and television series. Godzilla, eat your heart out.
The other thing is the never ending monotony of the buildings and grid-formation streets. Now, I'm sure any New Yorker reading this will say that there is nothing boring or monotonous about New York, that I didn't understand it - that I just can't handle a big city - maybe that is true. I found the buildings to be absolutely stifling with the heat. Being that there is no sunshine to ever hit the streets, because of the never ending high rise buildings. In addition, it feels like you are constantly being looked over, with enormous skyscrapers on either side of you. Block after block, never ending. Another street crossing, another garbage filled corner, another homeless person asking for a buck, another big brother over your shoulder.
Now, my next problem speaks to my former, but it is probably the single biggest problem that I have with NYC and we can if you will, label it as philosophical. New York is a lie. New York is fake. Not the people mind you, they are probably more real than any other I've ever met. The lie is what New York is and more specifically what it represents. The city, being the culmination of American society, the pinnacle of hard work and self determination, of grit and glory, a city where if you work hard you can achieve the ever elusive American Dream, because as they say - if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. This couldn't be more of a lie. Everything about the city is made to oppress. Everything on Manhattan is extortionately priced, from the food, drink, accommodation, transport. The privileged white kids in their suits flock around Wall Street, the kids who would have a kushy middle class life no matter where they are. The minority populations work behind the store counters serving pizza slices in hot pizzerias. Oppressed by minimum wage working conditions - when is America allowed to be held accountable for not supporting those who work hard and who want to better their lives? When does it become a societal responsibility to actually help support your working class and give them a hand in reaching this elusive dream?
Does any of this make sense?
I think if one summed this up in any kind of way... The American Dream is a set of ideals and morals perpetuated onto this society saying that with hard work you can achieve your goals. But America gives absolutely no support to its own to reach these goals. Much the same as religious ideology is used to appease the populations they serve by providing a moral bottom line to their own suffering, the American Dream provides a societal appeasement saying that if you can't reach your own aspirations and dreams, then it is due to your own mismanagement and lack of hard work and dedication. Let me also add here... Americans work at least twice as hard as Europeans. We are lazy fuckers by comparison. New York to me is a nutshell example of why the American Dream is bullshit and why America is failing it's own people.
In a very protracted and meandering way, this is why I don't like New York.
What I did like about it was the food though - I'm surprised I only put on 1lb while I was there, because it was a non stop eating fest while I was there, but I guess I did walk a shiton. I have decided I want to get down to 58kg again. Whatever, I don't care. I want it.
I have also decided it is time for me to do my masters. More on this to follow.
Peace & Love