“You have to get out of there.”
It was Saturday night. I was standing in the front bar area of Brother Jimmy’s off Union Square in the city, and some random judgemental douchebag at my friend’s birthday party just told me that I "have to get out of there," after I told him that I'm currently living on Long Island. That “there” he was talking about is my home. It’s my life, and it’s a part of my identity. The fact that I want to move back to New York City doesn’t mean that I am abandoning my home altogether. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I think Long Island is beneath me.
I don't go to bars to get drunk. I like hanging out at bars mostly because I like meeting new people and talking to strangers. So much of every day is spent with people who know me, and usually people who know me very well, so it’s fun for me to talk to someone who knows absolutely nothing about me, and vice versa. I’ve been a people-watcher since I was a child, and I think there’s always something to learn from a stranger. But sometimes I meet someone who makes me step back and fear for the state of humanity.
That being said, I also love New York City with every fiber of my being. I went to college in the city and I believe it changed me into a better person, but sometimes it does weird shit to people. Actually, it does weird shit to people all the time. It shapes and molds people into completely different versions of themselves and sometimes this can be a good thing. However, some people enter what I’m going to call, The New York City Bubble. This guy who insulted my home within twenty minutes of meeting me is clearly not someone who was born and raised in New York. He’s one of those people who moved to the city to pursue a career/reinvent himself/separate himself from his pre-NYC life. He has been living in New York for so long, and he has become such a snob, that he has completely lost sight of what life is like outside of this city. He exists entirely in The Bubble and has lost all sense of reality. To him, any life worth living does not exist outside of New York.
Well, what I have to say to him is this: lots of cool things happen outside of New York. There is a beautiful and fascinating world out there, filled with people who might have a few valuable lessons to teach you. You’re just too cynical and self-absorbed to realize it.