It's Thanksgiving, and that usually means two things: stuffing our faces with turkey and all the trimmings (a given) and hopefully, counting our blessings. Those of us living in New York are blessed with far more than what would fit on this page, so I made a list of some of the top things that my fellow New Yorkers and I should be thankful for in NYC.
The People of New York
New York is only as great as the people who call the city home. Sure, NYC provides constant stimulation and more excitement than most any other place on the planet, but it's the people – natives, transplants, and visitors – and their drive, creativity, and dreams that make this city great.
The Tolerance of the NYC Community
In a city of nearly 8.5 million and growing, tolerating others who dress differently, believe in something we don't, or speak a language that we can't understand goes hand in hand with life in New York. And unlike many places around the globe where tolerance isn't accepted or appreciated, New Yorkers thrive on it and don't know any other way to live. Tolerance is woven into the fabric of our culture because it's how we can continue to live in this sprawling five-borough metropolis and maintain a level of peace and harmony.
Going hand in hand with point two, staying open-minded is essential to life in New York. Anyone can come to New York without judgment and has the freedom to be what he or she chooses. Not every place in our world offers this standard of open-mindedness, so here in New York, we realize just how lucky we are to live in a city where dyeing your hair green and strutting around topless, walking through Midtown Manhattan with a cat on your shoulder, or picketing with a giant rat for hours on end is indeed odd, yet completely acceptable.
This city has always been a beacon of opportunity, and that will never change. Much in the same way that anyone can come to New York as they are and feel accepted, anyone can come to this city with a dream, work hard, and make their dream a reality. Every day in NYC brings another chance and another reason to pursue goals and find success.
The Art and Culture Scene
Theater. Ballet. Opera. Music. Comedy. Poetry readings. Museums. Galleries. The performance art scene. New York City offers all this and so much more regarding art and culture. We are fortunate to live in such a cultural mecca, a city that supports everything from controversial street art to some of the finest actors, singers, and dancers taking to the stage every single night. There is no other city in the world as artistically motivated as New York, and we should feel thankful because we live here, we can see and do it all.
The International Food and Restaurant Scene
Millions of New Yorkers hail from a foreign land, and when they immigrated, they brought with them their customs, culture, and cuisine – and created some of the top restaurants in NYC. How lucky are we to be able to taste and sip food and drink from around the globe in our own backyards? Travel the world without ever setting foot outside the city and experience authentic dishes from countries like Georgia, Israel, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Argentina, and countless others.
The Exciting New York City Lifestyle
There's no ignoring the excitement that's attached to life in New York City. Sure, as a local, I can attest that not every day is filled with "only in New York" moments. But, I can tell you that in between the common day-to-day happenings that are part of life anywhere (work, sleep, errands, family, friends), come the thrills. Be it a celebrity encounter; walking a Broadway red carpet; experiencing world-class dining; or something as simple as watching 50,000 runners compete in the New York Marathon – these moments don't define us, but they do help shape the exciting life in NYC.
This Thanksgiving, we should take a New York minute and remember to be thankful for the chance to live in the greatest city in the world and experience all that goes with it.