Can someone please explain to me what the fork is the deal with New York City? I had this discussion with Mad EP on the way to Providence over the weekend and he just described the draw as a kind of energy or vibe and pace. I'm wondering how necessary that is, though, and to whom? I think all of us who live outside of New York (with the exception of those prissy bastards in LA :) ) have this romanticized view of the Big Apple, and it's easy to see why. New York has a mystique to it that's built up in movies and music and events and terrorist attacks--it has a lot of stuff that you just don't get anywhere else. However, how much of that stuff is the stuff people want?

New Yorkers will rave about their pizza, and surely there is some of the US's finest pizza SOMEWHERE in New York, but all the pizza I've had there is about on par with Felini's here in Atlanta. We got a recommendation to check out Rosario's a couple blocks from Tonic and while it was okay, it was certainly nothing that I'm really even distinctly remembering right now. Was it salty? Was the sauce thick? Acidic? Was it sour at the crust? I have no idea, it just didn't leave an impression. So New Yorkers, you can strike pizza off your list of things you have to offer the world that people can't get elsewhere--I'll stick to Oz in Decatur.

The starving artist thing is certainly a big draw there, as everyone we met or talked to who lived there lived in the kind of place that in Atlanta would probably be torn down to build something trendier. Not that these places were necessarily bad, but they were certainly rough and for the price, I just don't understand it. It's not like you make more money on account of living in New York. A $30,000 a year job here is a $30,000 a year job there, but there it'll get you tunafish and a 6x9 foot broom closet for a room. I make some sacrifices here to save money: I live in a building with DJs and skate kids who like to smoke out and party until 3 am most nights. But I also have a room all for my studio, air conditioning, and an entire spare bedroom I don't even use--and I pay less than what some people in New York pay to split a place four ways! The cost of living factor alone really just makes the place seem wholly undesirable. It's like if you wanted to buy a car that you knew was worth $12,000 but the dealer would only sell it to you for $28,000 and you'd pay it cause, eh, it's THE CAR.

Transportation is a nightmare. No one seems to drive and while I like the idea of public transportation, the horror stories of carrying groceries, computers, and the like on the train are enough to let me know that I'll always probably need a car or access to one. Not to mention, the pace that some people thrive on in New York just seems so completely unneccessary to me. Where is everyone going that they are in such a hurry? Why is everyone racing and what are they really accomplishing? I was just confused by it. I would think that New York would have cultural amenities that far exceed what we have here, and to an extent, it probably does. On any given night in New York, there's probably something somewhere worth going out to. But you know, for all that, there is only so much a person can go out and do if they also want to create. The balance here is great because there is usually one thing a week that I really want to get out of the house to see or do, and the rest of the time I can sit at home making tunes knowing that I'm not missing something amazing. I guess New York has that over Atlanta, but I also wonder how many of those things are a 'must-see' and how many of them take the fact that they are happening in NY a little too seriously.

All in all, I'm happy not to live there, and I've now been there a couple times and have seen really all I think I need to see. If someone can convince me otherwise--show me where the unbelievable pizza is, or explain what the weird omni-present shower of unknown liquid mist is, or list the accomplishments that couldn't have been achieved elsewhere, or just solidify that 'vibe' for me a little to the point where I understand it, I'd appreciate it. Enough people that I respect are willing to sacrifice A LOT to live there, so there must be something to it, but I'm not seeing exactly what.