[Opinion] New York City is over-romanticized


Tribune News Service

Workers place bodies of coronavirus victims in a makeshift morgue outside Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, on March 31, 2020. Photo courtesy of Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/TNS

Jessie Gesund, Associate Editor-In-Chief

“The Big Apple,” “the city that never sleeps,” “the concrete jungle of dreams and opportunities” are all phrases to describe the well-known place called New York City. New York City is the most populated city in the United States, and with reason. When immigrants arrived in NYC in 1892, they saw it as a place for opportunity and a better life. Even today people will give up everything for the over-the-top city life, walks on the avenue, once-in-a-lifetime jobs and a picturesque life that anyone would be jealous of.

The beloved city of New York is viewed as this perfect, dream-filled place where anyone can get an apartment, job and fantasy lifestyle they are chasing. However, it is not as beautiful and dreamy as the movies make it out to be. It is constantly over-romanticized, and anyone who actually lives there will agree.

In actuality, NYC is extremely overpopulated and people are living in a polluted, high-priced, impoverished place. While there are well-known sights and places to enjoy in the city, people overlook these real problems that continue to build up on the streets.

If one is looking to move to NYC, I wish them luck finding an apartment for under $1000 per month. The prices of apartments, clothes and food in the city have skyrocketed over the years, making it only affordable to the rich or those who spend all their time working. If anything is affordable, it is the one dollar slice of pizza found at random pizza parlors scattered around the city.

Due to the inflated prices, the city is filled with people living in poverty, whether they are on the streets or in shelters. According to the Department of Homeless Services, 45,300 people in NYC slept in shelters in the beginning of January 2022. The media fails to show people the true NYC life, like numerous people struggling to find a home and food. The views from highrises and the chic streets of Soho are portrayed in movies and social media without homeless people sleeping in the snow.

Aside from people taking residence on the sidewalks, there are crazed people walking the streets, making a daily walk to the bodega down the street slightly uncomfortable. For example the naked cowboy, the creepy “Sesame Street” characters and the man in a rat costume who feels right at home on the subway all demonstrate that the city has driven people mad and given them a place to share their craziness. There is nothing visionary about being harassed by people, like a naked woman holding a guitar in Times Square.

The mysterious man in a rat costume is not the only rat in the city. Real rats crawl through the subways, streets and any garbage bag you find on a sidewalk. NYC is festering with disgusting creatures, and that is not even the worst of it.

The city is extremely polluted with trash and greenhouse gasses, which fuels unbearable living conditions. Some may say New York has the best bagels and pizza because of the freshwater. In reality, a majority of the water is filled with sewage, human-made chemicals and pesticides, so much that the Hudson River and East River are known for being dirty.

Along with filthiness and lunatics, the city is an unsafe place to live. Petty thefts, robberies, murders, practically every crime in the book has happened in NYC and continues to occur today. A NYPD crime statistics report from February 2022 shows that NYC had a 58.7 percent increase in overall index crime compared to February 2021. More recently, six people were stabbed or slashed on the New York City Subway, spreading from Harlem to Brooklyn. This violence makes the cheerful city a place of terror. Now, it is only safe to live in high-end, sophisticated neighborhoods like Tribeca and the East Village.

People flock to NYC for the dynamic culture and the lifestyle. However, moving to NYC cannot guarantee someone the socialite status they see in the media. If anything, they will live like any other working class person trying to make a living. There are other cities that are just as diverse and prospective as NYC that are probably cleaner and safer. Living in New York does not give one a superiority complex and people need to realize that NYC is not this whimsical, romantic and electric place that we see in the movies.