Tag Archives: nyc life

WHY WE LOVE BIG CITIES – I DREAM OF NY, I DREAM OF EUROPE

For a little over a year, I have been living in Los Angeles. I haven’t yet warmed up to the city to the extent that I feel comfortable to call it my home; yet, when I first arrived to Los Angeles I absolutely loved it. Why? The beaches, the weather, the mountains, the proximity to both ocean and snow, the diversity, the food, you name it! The creativity! There are so many people that come to this city with a vision of making their dreams a reality. So many artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers. I felt surrounded by people that understood my desire for a creative life. Yet, I haven’t been able to call it home.

After a long inner search, it finally dawned on me. I miss that constant novelty I got in New York City. Where all I had to do was step outside my door without worrying about a car or parking and I knew I could find a world of possibilities. An adventure awaited. LA is a big city, and unfortunately, not the best example for public transportation. There are great pockets to the city. But having to drive to them takes away from the spontaneity that I personally crave.

I am drawn to travel. I dream of a European home. Weekend trips to different cultures by simply jumping on a train; different architecture, different languages spoken. European cities are built for the human scale, for walking; for experiencing architectural beauty every few steps. I see that in my future, but for now, my craving goes to the concrete jungle in the East Coast. New York still holds my heart, even with all of its imperfections (aka. the subway at rush hour).

Turns out, my craving of novelty is a very basic human need. We are biologically disposed to want to be in locations with variety, with differences, with complexity. We all have different ways of fulfilling this need. Perhaps many don’t even realize why, or how to fill it. There is even research that suggests humans are healthier when we live among variety. That the cities of the future, especially here in the US, that are built for the bottom line, could cause even more depression – among other health issues. Boredom increases cortisol levels more than sadness.

Imagine the cumulative effects of working and living in the same dull environment. Day after day.  Ughh.

Yes, I realize this took a dark turn. It all started with a sunny happy description of Los Angeles. The wonderful city of Los Angeles. I truly do think it’s beautiful. It does need to work on it’s infrastructure for better public transportation. With so many artists in the city, I don’t think it is living up to it’s best potential just yet. For now, I am here to point this out, but I see myself moving back to New York City. After all, I know I have unfinished business with that town, and with that, be closer to my beloved Europe.

Cheers!

What do you think? How do you look for novelty in your life?

Empty Space – Taking Inventory of our Life

I spent days emptying my apartment. The easiest part was selling the furniture (it wasn’t actually easy though). The hardest: figuring out what to do with dozens of things I don’t use. The junk.

The junk consisted of all kinds of things: magazines, clothes, kitchenware, utensils, bathroom products, other miscellaneous things… even shoes. Put all together, I had spent hundreds on these things that I’ve used maybe once… maybe zero times.

Reality Check.

I didn’t want to just throw these things out. It would have been like throwing money in the garbage – so I ended up spending extra time and energy transporting and packing these things that have no use to me.

This is not only a ME problem. Keeping things around that we don’t use is a problem many of us have. Not only things… we also keep people around that we don’t like/don’t add value to our lives. We keep situations, jobs, etc. Just out of procrastination. Out of fear of the unknown. We think: “I’ll deal with it later…” Letting it all accumulate.

When later comes around – and it always does – it becomes a massive pain.

I suggest we take inventory of our lives more regularly and leave the unnecessary behind. Don’t let it become an energy drain.