Things That Are Undeniably Better When You Live In A Big City


friendsIf there’s one thing I’ve learned from Friends, Sex and the City and How I Met Your Mother, it’s that bad things happen when you leave the city. As a New York suburb dweller myself, I can say with certainty that things are just better in a big city.

As Phoebe Buffay once said, “You can’t move out of the city. What if you want Chinese food at 5 a.m.? Or a fake Rolex that breaks as soon as it rains? Or an Asian hooker sent right to your door?” She had a point.

Somewhere, someone is just waiting to deliver everything you could ever need

When you live in a big city, there are endless services tailored specifically to meet the needs of people, like me, who have vowed never to pick up takeout, never to use a mop, and never to walk a dog. As long as you have the money to pay, everything you could ever need and desire is at your fingertips, and quite literally — just click a few buttons on your computer and you’re now the proud owner of a Seamless account, an affordable maidservice, and a daily dogwalker. And you know what? You’re employing others, therefore boosting the economy. So selfless.

The food service industry

Forget all the endless permutations of food you can get in a big city, things like Ethiopian, Thai, and Mongolian. But the actual foodservice industry just runs so much more smoothly, even if it is nearly impossible to get onto a rooftop bar on a Tuesday evening in May.

People in a big city are used to fast paces, and that includes the foodservice. On a single city block you can be surrounded by easily a dozen or so amazing eateries just waiting to cater to your every foodie whim, because at least they’ve earned another customer in this cutthroat culinary world.

And when those restaurants fail, there are always the most succulent delicatessens, corner bodegas, taco carts, dirty water dogs, soft pretzels dotted with glistening rock salt, and of course, there’s Seamless. Didn’t we mention that already?

Big city food = better food. Easy as that.

You can go anywhere you want without having to drive

Pulling out Hopstop or a transit map, I can map out half a dozen ways to get to point b without having to deal with any one of these: rush hour congestion (usually), annoying bikers, traffic, underground smells, and/or other people at all. When you live in a big city, not only do you never have to drive a car, but you can also take full advantage of the myriad forms of public transportation, and bend them all to your iron will.

And when all else fails, there’s Uber.

The world is a slightly smelly museum exhibit

It takes 30 seconds to walk a standard city block, which means, with the right shoes, that you can hypothetically walk anywhere in your neighborhood and never be bored.

Walking up and down a city is like being a tourist all over again, because there is no shortage of fascinating sights to see, apart from all the gorgeous architecture (if you’re brave enough to look up and therefore be immediately branded an outsider) — men in suits like it’s a Men’s Warehouse catalog streaming out of a Wall Street building, college students around NYU impossibly obnoxious in their ill-fitting clothing, awestruck tourists fighting for the view of the Empire State Building, and look! That woman just totally bit it on Park Avenue.

Forget all the culture and art — walking down a city street is all the culture you’ll ever want. It’s like a free reality show.

There’s hella privacy

In a big city, despite the inherent congestion, you are a total stranger to your neighbors and fellow citydwellers. Only in a big city can you enjoy the ultimate of living paradoxes: to be in a crowded subway car smashed against two strangers, one of your arms wrapped around their waist to reach the pole and your bum elegantly pushed against somebody else’s arse, and they will pretend you don’t even exist.

In a big city, everyone is too worried about their own lives and harried about their impossibly full schedules to care where your body parts are innocently placed. They don’t care about your embarrassing lipstick fail, or the fact that there’s a run in your tights. They just saw a grown man pee in public. At this point, it all just sort of goes over your head.

It’s surprisingly safer

A 2013 study by the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that there’s a 20% higher risk of death by violence or accident in rural areas than in a big city. Maybe that’s just because there are so many more people in a city that the results are skewed?

Whatever. I’m not going to challenge it. City living is safer and better in every way.

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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