People keep sharing those "Why I'm Leaving New York" essays. Like this one, and this one, and this one, AND this one. But they need to stop, because they are wrong. This is why you should never leave New York City.
1. Obviously the bagels.
2. Obviously the pizza.
3. The speed at which people walk is superior to the speed at which people walk in other cities.
4. That first nice day of spring after being stuck inside all winter.
5. Happy hours after work.
6. The ability to go out and never worry how you're going to get home.
7. Not driving.
8. Not paying car insurance.
9. Never knowing the price of gas.
10. Listening to music on the subway.
11. Finishing that last chapter on the subway JUST as you get to your stop.
12. The fact that you have that extra 30 minutes to shut your brain off on the subway before work every day.
13. Falling in love with strangers on the subway.
14. Bodega cats.
15. People-watching on the subway.
16. People-watching on a bench.
17. People-watching, in general.
18. Never truly worrying about how many glasses of wine you can have.
19. That moment when you go above ground on a train and everything is illuminated.
21. Walking down the street with your headphones and feeling like you're in a music video.
22. Going over a bridge on a train.
23. Wanting a snack and just running downstairs to the nearest bodega to get one.
24. Knowing your bodega guy.
25. Having, like, five bodegas you call your own.
26. Bodega coffee.
27. You can walk everywhere.
28. The grid.
29. Sharing a smile/shrug with a stranger...
30. ...especially when someone really crazy comes on the subway.
31. Not truly having concrete plans for the night.
32. Stopping by somewhere for a drink, then going to your friend's apartment, then going to another friend's apartment, then another bar — and home eventually.
33. That satisfying feeling of giving people directions.
34. Randomly walking onto a movie set/TV show being filmed...
35. ...and yelling at their handlers that you don't care and you need to get down that street.
36. Smelling weed in your apartment hallway and immediately liking that neighbor who you've never actually met.
37. The first time it snows, everything's really quiet, covered in white, and not gross yet.
38. You can fart basically anywhere and no one notices.
39. The fact that you have the ability to take the subway to multiple beaches.
40. The fact that you can take the subway anywhere.
41. Everyone wants to visit you.
42. You can buy a ticket to a concert or sporting event literally 30 minutes before it starts and still make it on time.
43. Our sports teams are generally the best.
44. Being able to go to a different restaurant every night for the rest of time.
45. Being able to go to a different bar every night for the rest of time.
46. Walking by thousands of strangers every day and not giving a fuck what they think of you.
47. Just going to "pick up a few things from the grocery store" on your way home from work.
48. Having easy access to dozens of movie theaters.
49. The smell of Christmas trees on the sidewalks.
50. There are trash cans on every corner, WHICH IS REALLY CONVENIENT.
51. You always walk off your meal.
52. When you're hungover, you have extremely easy access to egg sandwiches at your local bodega.
53. Knowing what good street meat is.
54. Knowing what to order at street-meat carts.
55. The bars are open till 4 a.m.
56. Twenty-four-hour diners and delis.
57. You can also just get just about any food you ever imagined delivered.
58. Infinite Seamless options.
59. The slices of pizza are bigger here.
60. Walking with your head down and finding money on the street.
61. Finding something actually useful/cool someone just threw out on a curb.
62. You can truly participate in a drunk brunch.
63. Never worrying about parking.
64. Empty neighborhood parks in the summer.
65. Picnics in parks.
66. Your roof.
67. Other people's roofs.
68. Community gardens.
69. That amazing feeling of JUST catching the train.
70. Pat Kiernan.
71. Actually relating to Hey Arnold.
72. Laughing at Sex and the City tours.
73. There are so many songs about New York and it's fun to listen to the songs and actually relate to them.
74. Knowing you can get somewhere in, like, 20 minutes, even during rush hour.
75. Guys running without shirts in the summer.
76. Air-conditioning in a subway car in the summer.
77. Feeling connected to a person you see on your work route every morning but never actually speaking to them.
78. The pleasure of the one-swipe MetroCard at the turnstile.
79. Brunch goes till, like, 4 p.m.
80. Late dinners.
81. Outdoor seating.
82. Deli sandwiches.
83. Emerging out of the subway and knowing exactly which way you need to go without flinching.
84. The idea of Manhattanhenge, because you never actually get to see it.
85. Summer weekend mornings when everyone's out of town and the streets are empty.
86. Just walking down the street and being like, Wow, I live here.
87. Helping tourists get to Times Square.
88. The Staten Island Ferry.
89. The Ikea ferry being actually better.
90. Twenty-five-cent dumplings.
91. Dollar pizza that's better than any other city's best pizza.
92. Subway dance performances that are actually good.
93. When someone is about to give you a flier to go on a bus tour, but then they realize you live here and retract their arm, and you feel good about it.
94. Looking at the Empire State Building and trying to figure out what the colors mean.
95. Seeing a cobblestone street peeking out under a paved one and remembering that the Gangs of New York era once really existed.
96. Free concerts that are actually good.
97. Jaywalking all the time and not giving a fuck.
98. Crepes at street fairs.
99. Watermelon at street fairs.
100. Street fairs in general, which are pretty cool because you can walk in the middle of the street.
101. Cheap comedy shows.
102. Cart coffee.
103. Murals on the sides of buildings.
104. Being around people who actually get your jokes about New Jersey.
105. Empty parks during snowstorms.
106. You don't have to say "hi" to everyone on the street.
107. It's OK to just ignore people.
108. Sharing crazy subway stories.
109. You can eat alone, see movies alone, do anything alone, and no one gives you a second look.
110. That feeling of riding over the bridge, looking at the skyline, and realizing just how awesome New York is.