Posted by: bobroth | January 18, 2010

Sharing My Secrets

14 Things I Love about New York City

I never particularly liked New York as a kid. (I was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have spent time in a lot of big cities around the world.) New York was stressed, dirty, mean, crime-ridden. Well miracles do happen, and New York has changed (this past year saw the lowest crime rate in 40 years)—and so have I. And I am proud to say that I have been a New Yorker for close to four years now (sounds pathetic I know, but you gotta start somewhere).

Here are 14 things I love about living in New York City, in no particular order of preference…

  1. I love fruit. Gotta have it all year around. Not everyone is like me. My friend Mario hates fruit. He breaks out in hives just looking at an apple. So for me, New York is fruit heaven. There many fruit stands on so many street corners. So unexpected. What other city has that, I ask you? (Downside: No water to wash the mounds of sweet plums and grapes and blueberries and peaches. They are lookin’ kinda dusty to me… But then again, they look so darn good… So what harm is a little dust going to do to a guy?)
  2. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a crisp Sunday morning in the Spring … As a kid, I used to walk the Golden Gate Bridge—absolutely gorgeous views, a glistening pearl of a city, no question, but a looooong walk… Brooklyn Bridge, pffft, and you are across… Fresh air, lovely skyline, feel great, home in a sec..
  3. The subway to get you anywhere in the city in the wicked hot summer … When the traffic is horrendous (pretty much all the time) and a cab ride will cost you $20 easy, and the temp and humidity are pushing the high 200s, I slip out my building, walk a short block to the corner, slide down the steps, whisk my metro card ($2.25) to open the gate, wait a minute or so, and bango, the beloved number 4 or 5 arrives… And then, whooosh, doors open, I climb some steps, round the corner, and I am where I need to go… The ride is air-conditioned, always entertaining, and an experience of intimacy with New Yorkers you would never tolerate anywhere else …
  4. I also love salads. Again, there are so many dang salad bars … I am a mountainous mixed-leafy-green-salad kind of a guy who loves gobs of fresh mozzarella cheese balls, tofu squares, whole plump black olives, avocado slices, artichoke pieces, chopped tomatoes… Topped with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper… and I can create a sublime version of this culinary masterpiece on virtually every block in Manhattan.
  5. Broadway … Call me naïve, a small-town country (San Francisco) bumpkin, but I had no idea… The creativity, the power, the emotion, the perfection … To date, I am a sucker for the big-stage stuff… huge singing productions, tap dancers, romantic storylines—South Pacific, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Mama Mia, Producers, Lion King, 39 Steps, Mary Poppins (I ain’t too proud to admit it, sends me back to days of babysitters) … Now, my sophisticated New Yorker friends are vowing to introduce me to the world of Off-Broadway so I won’t feel like such a tourist. Will keep you posted…
  6. Fine, fine, fine Italian, Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern cuisine. Amazing vegetarian, raw food, and pure vegan restaurants… Everywhere, open all the time, it seems…
  7. Whole Foods Market on Union Square, at least a one-hour wait to get through the checkout line, it is so crazy busy… My recommendation, bring a book or a kindle and read and push and read and push … Don’t tear into the Newman’s Own Fig Bars while you read and push, though…
  8. Anonymity.
  9. Community.
  10. Prices are ridiculously, horrendously high, which is a major downer. But then I went to Geneva, which makes NYC seems like Filene’s Basement…
  11. Yankees, I don’t revile them like I used to… New York Giants, who cares? Knicks, do they still play? Mets, Jets, Nets—not so much…
  12. HUGE LEWD BLOCK HEADLINES the front page of the New York Post /Daily News… What are we, back in high school?
  13. Working in the Center of the Universe… For the Lynch Foundation, I can do it all from here… Meet the people, raise the funds, organize the events—for the whole world—from right here… Love it…
  14. Three airports and two train stations within 45 minutes to get outta here every few weeks so I can reclaim my heart and soul… Stay too long and this place will eat you alive! Keep the balance, as the wise say.

    Thanks for listening,

    Love it here.

    New York Bobby


    1. Great column!

      Bobby, did you get my graduation congratulatons card? The save the world instead of baseball, one?

    2. Nyc is so much fun, its werid but when u live here you don’t get do all the fun things. Tourist have a great time here.

    3. Awesome post Bobby. I love reading your stuff. Glad you’re doing this blog. If you couldn’t express your creativity, you would probably explode.

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