Oh hey, I live here now. New York City. Well, actually, Astoria, which is a neighborhood in Queens. When people think of New York City they tend to think of Manhattan. Which strangely is only a few miles from me. But New York miles are so much different I have found out! But I'll get to that later. Just kidding! I'll get to it now. I don't know why, but it bugs me when people outwardly say "I'll get to that later" or "I'll cover that topic in a bit". You don't need to say it, just DO it!
Anyway, in New York, everything is seemingly closer and further apart all at once. Looking on a map and contemplating walking one location to another, distance is seemly more lengthy than actuality. The thing about living in a city is that there are tons of things happening on the street that make time move faster when you're out and about. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to walk to Astoria Park, a gorgeous park northwest of my apartment with tons of trees. My friend Courtney and I walked there a week ago when she was in town from helping us move the cats via plane. We both were so distracted by the sounds, sights, smells and activities of the neighborhood that there was little time to worry about how long it'd been since we'd left the apartment.
My commute to school will be about 35 minutes which includes the walk to and from the subway. The actual subway ride is only about 20 minutes so it breaks up the time pretty well. When I'm riding the subway it's hard to feel like it's taking a long time just because of the bustle of everything out here. However, the actual measured distance from home to school is barely 4 miles. My last job in Denver was 8 miles away and I could get there by car in 15 minutes when the traffic was good. In Fort Collins going 4 miles takes 10 minutes inside city limits. But with so many human beings living in NYC, it's hard to believe we can get around anywhere at all. The subway is the blood stream of everything. Without it, there's no way so many people could live here.
People have told me I may grow to hate the subway. I don't think I will, because my other alternative would be to drive and I HATE driving. I am not a good driver (I hit an RTD bus once, I'm not joking), and I definitely was very thankful to see our cars find new owners. About 4 years ago, I had a job in downtown Denver that didn't have on site parking, so they provided employees with an "Eco" pass. A New Yorker joked to me that only in Denver would public transit be declared Eco-friendly. But I digress.
I rode the city bus almost every day for 2 years. Phil picked me up on the way home only because by taking the bus the commute was nearly an hour each way. This was for a job that was 8 miles away. There are certainly negative things about public transit, but I ultimately loved spending the time relaxing before work. I would generally read or look at the news. Sometimes I'd just zone. But the best part was not having to worry about the traffic or things around me. And in the evening it was nice to have a ride together with my husband home where we could discuss our respective days.
The subway is a miraculous thing really. The infrastructure is amazing when you think about it, and the fact that millions of people that use it every day is truly mind boggling. I am excited about the prospect of commuter trains as well. Several months ago I visited the city to find an apartment, but stopped in Washington DC first to see my sister who was playing an audition out there. I took a train from DC to NYC and it was pretty awesome. I told a friend of mine in NY that I had never taken a train and he was surprised that I hadn't and I replied that in the west, if you want to go somewhere you just drive your car! Most commuter trains don't stop in all the places you'd want to go anyway, and it probably is less time and money to just drive yourself.
I am looking forward to traveling back to DC to see some of the great museums out there, particularly the first ladies' fashion exhibit my sister has told me about. We're planning a trip out to Philly to see my long lost friend Eileen at the end of the month. I'd also love to visit upstate NY in the fall to see their glorious changing trees. The possibilities are endless! As long as there's time, that is.
Everything starts a little later here, and everything also stays open later. Although we are 2 hours different than Colorado, I find myself keeping a similar schedule, just staying up later. When I start school it'll be nice as my earliest classes start at 9AM. I will be in school 8-9 hours a day every day starting August 29th, so I am really relishing the time I have now to relax and set my life up accordingly.