01 August 2010

Post-New York

So after my trip to New York, there are things that I sort of learned and sort of confirmed.

Fact 1: I have a love-hate relationship with New York City. I love the city due to the fact that the city has basically everything you need. You want lemon grass? You got it. Green papaya? Chinatown has it. Good food? Every neighborhood pretty much has it. Green spaces? That's covered too. However, the city is too big, and there are too many people, that sometimes I feel like an ant. And I don't like it.

Fact 2: There's too many people, and I think I am allergic to crowds. Yes, this is related to what I wrote above, and yes, everywhere I look, there are people. People move before and behind you. They pass by you, brush by you, walk ahead of you, and so on. There's so many people that sometimes, I feel my energy getting depleted in just trying to block them off my zone.

Fact 3: People can be intrusive. This is something I don't like with big cities. People can be intrusive, and they enter your personal space. This is something I see more in the United States than in other cities. I am quietly sitting in the subway, when there is this group of performers entering the subway and suddenly perform for your change. When the last thing you want is some unneeded noise. I also do not like the fact that I am a captive audience in these gigs. I might appreciate the performance, but I hate the fact that I have no choice in being a witness to it. I would want to read a book, but it gets too noisy that I just cannot concentrate. And it uses my energy to endure this and block it off my consciousness. Which is why I am grateful for my music player, as that seems to be the best thing in blocking outside noises.

Fact 4: I think that my fondness for mid-sized cities is affirmed. I like Boston and Washington DC; in fact, I loved Boston that I found myself there multiple times in the past. The amount of people is just the right amount that it never crowds and suffocates me. Here in New York City, I get the feeling that after a day outside in the city, I would just want to retire, spend my night quietly, and read a book in the peace of my own solitude. Shut the outside noises, and recharge. I think I would be needing that if I were here in the city often.

Fact 5: I don't enjoy going out too much. I spent two days in a week with my sister outside, and that sometimes takes my energy out too much. Last Wednesday, I enjoyed myself, heading to a snazzy restaurant and a jazz bar afterward, but Friday, I was tired and wasn't too motivated to go out again, that after a full day of seeing the art museum and eating lunch and dinner, I just wanted to go home. I am glad that I convinced her not to go to this other bar, as I was already tired and didn't have the energy and patience to go out further.

Fact 6: I don't enjoy going out with people too much. I don't mind company when I do things such as going out, but sometimes, I just want to do something intimate, something where there isn't a crowd, something where there isn't a stranger or two that is right at the next table. Something where the only people in the room are people that I actually know and are friends with. I tend to prefer private and small things, and sometimes, life at the big city involve too much of public events, that it again taxes my social energy.

So there, I am back in Buffalo, and back in the lab. A few more weeks and classes will begin, and I will be teaching. I need to be back in New York City in a few weeks though, to pick up my passport. But I don't need to think about that right now.

(Geometric Shapes, from my Qorikancha Series)


  1. I think I have a similar relationship with Paris. I don't usually like being in that city because it's expensive, dirty, crowded and not so friendly. Yet, I must admit it has a lot of sights!

  2. Zhu,

    I know! It definitely is a love-hate relationship with big cities. I guess that's just the way it is.