/Overrated/Underrated: New York City

Overrated/Underrated: New York City

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Isaac Scafe

Senior Staff Writer

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OverratedColin Bayne

As someone who’s grown up in North Jersey all my life, New York City has been a constant presence. Now, in college in Newark, we see it every day on the horizon, and hear about it as a destination for any fun activity you could think of. After 23 years of North Jersey living, and five in college under the city’s shadow, I can definitively say that the truth is: NYC is overrated. 

Getting into the city is the first hurdle to be overcome by any prospective visitor. Normally the effort is monumental, but admittedly, NJIT provides a good location to make it easier. However, this is far from an exoneration. Forced to pay for faulty, crowded and slow public transportation, the traveler must wait in tired old seats sandwiched among hordes of strangers on a train car filled with stale air for an hour before disembarking into the desired destination. They then find themselves in a crowded, dirty, cold and dismal city full of rude people in a rush to get somewhere, where all the public transport is underfunded and in poor condition, where cops are ready to pounce on fare violations and where every morsel of food is so monumentally overpriced that it would bankrupt even the thriftiest student in hours. 

Granted, there are sights to see. But, the sheer hassle of getting there and getting back makes every minute of sightseeing feel like borrowed time, scraped from the morass of dismal travel in crowded train cars and stifling subway tunnels. It’s hard to focus on wonderful paintings at the Met when you’re exhausted and nauseous from traveling for two hours. 

Sure there’s good food, but there’s good food in Jersey too. Sure there’s good nightlife, but there’s good nightlife in Jersey too. All in all, I think NYC has been romanticized beyond all reality: a golden veil over a dismal core. Am I being dramatic? Yes. Am I right? Well, I think so, but if you disagree at least only one of us will have to spend their money proving it in hours of train rides and overpriced food. 

UnderratedIsaac Scafe

New York City gets a lot of warranted hate from the rest of the country. People often describe the city as smelly, noisy and overcrowded. Food prices are higher than in most cities and the locals can be quite rude. But, people tend to focus on the negatives surrounding the city rather than what makes it unique.  

When people mention NYC, more often than not they’re referring to Manhattan. But Manhattan only makes up a small portion of the city. New York City consists of five different boroughs, Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Each borough has its own number of neighborhoods, totaling in over a hundred different communities in the city each with its own feel, allowing a totally new experience no matter where you go in New York City. The Upper West Side in Manhattan is home to Central Park while a quick train ride will take you to the quiet Astoria in Queens. The Bronx is home to the New York Yankees while Brooklyn is known for its thriving art scene. 

On top of the different neighborhoods to experience throughout the city, NYC also hosts an assortment of ethnic cultures. The United States was known as a “melting pot” of different cultures in the early 1900’s, and New York City is at the center of that fusion. Visitors can stop by Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown before taking a trip to Little Italy and then to Koreatown in Midtown. There are many ways of life to experience in New York City. No two adventures are quite the same with a different adventure for everyone that visits. 

No city is without flaws and New York City is no exception. It’s dirty, crowded and an expensive daytrip. But, New York City is more than just the flashy lights and tall buildings. NYC welcomes all ways of life, both culturally and ethnically. No matter who you might be, there is always something to do in the city.