New York, The City of Compliments?


Bradley Beggs

Photo Via Christopher Burns on Unsplash

You’re probably thinking, “Great, another article about how amazing and glorious New York City is and why everyone should live there.” And honestly, as I am writing this, I’m thinking the same way. I wanted to share the experience I had in New York over the winter break, but also wanted to make sure that whatever I shared wouldn’t get lost in the mud of the pro-NYC rhetoric decorated around the internet. So I picked my brain. What did I like most about New York? I saw some amazing pieces of art, architecture and performance. I walked the busy streets and hailed a taxi. I had a classic NYC pizza slice on the side of the street next to pigeons. But when I really thought about it, it was the people I met in passing throughout the entirety of the trip that really made it memorable. Every single ticket vendor, shopkeep, waiter, museum attendant, and stranger was so incredibly kind. Never have I been to such a kind and welcoming place. A place where yes, people mind their business and the tourists are annoying, but a place where even strangers are kind enough to pay you compliments on your clothes, hair, or just you in general.

Just like any place in the world, the people are what give the city its personality. Without people, cities would just be cold metal jungles with very little intrigue or personality. For some reason though, I thought New York City would be the exception. With the thousands of pictures I’ve seen, songs I’ve listened to and movies and TV shows that have been made about this city, I half-expected the sidewalk to be bursting with life. But when I got there, the sidewalks were normal, the building tall and cold, and the streets filled with cars. 

What was magical were the people. I know I’m driving this point into the ground, but truly if I could bring back anything from New York it would have been the people. I have no idea how I could fit them in my suitcase, and I’m sure half of them would hate San Diego. It’s just hard saying goodbye to everyone, especially to the woman who got engaged while ice skating at Rockefeller Center… that was magical.

That is the joy of travelling. New places, new food, and new people. When done right, traveling can invigorate your own life; energize your spirit. By no means is this the same call to travelling that rich white instagram influencers preach on a daily basis. Instead, it is an encouragement to go someplace new. I know for a fact I haven’t been to downtown San Diego in awhile. Getting out and seeing the world and meeting the people that make the world what it is is priceless. So, go out there and meet someone new. Pay them a compliment while you’re at it.