Living in New York
I moved to New York in January 2003. It was a big change. I had been to New York a number of times before both through work and as a tourist but to actually set up your life here is something completely different.
I was lucky to find a good apartment in the East Village close to Union Square. The area has plenty of reataurants, bars and if I want to go someplace else the subway is just around the corner.
Coming from a small country like Sweden, New York can be a bit of a shocker. The epitaph "the city that never sleeps" is definately true. The noise in the city never dies and you here cars, police and firetrucks go by your window at every hour of the day. It takes a while before you get used to it. The pace here is fast. People are running everywhere and the elbows are hard. You have to learn how to become hard if you want to be able to move forward. And that is true both physically and in life. The poor New Yorkers work their asses of from dawn until dusk. The city is so big and so many things are happening that in the beginning you can even feel a bit frustrated about not having the time to experience it all.
After you get over these first frustrations which can take anywhere from one week to one year you can really start enjoying yourself. I love it here now. The food is amazing and the variety of things to see and do is tremendous. New Yorkers are actually quite easy to talk to so you always meat fun and weird people when you go out. There is also no better place in the world for people watching. You get all kinds from the hot stylish people with all designer clothes to the crazy people talking to themselves and all others, via the ultra-pierced latex wearers.
Being Jewish in New York is also a great thing. Jewish culture is such a big part of the city image of New York that you feel, hear and see it everywhere. From being a part of a small minority I'm now part of the norm. I can get my gefilte fish and matzah ball soup at any supermarket and I have three synagogues just around the corner (if I against all odds would ever feel like going for some davening). Every eigth person within the city limits is Jewish so the probability of running into a tribes member is fairly large.
To conclude New York is a place to meet all types of people and experience a wide variety of entertainment and culture. It is a place you never get tired of exploring. The only danger is that you can get too used to the lifestyle never being able to slow down and get the hell out of here!
This is the view from my apartment window:
This is the view from my roof: