Why People Love New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

It occurred to me today as I was crossing the road, ‘What won’t I miss about New York?’

And while there is only one thing, it got me thinking about why people fall in love with this city, and why it is so commonly referred to as a place that gets under your skin.

The list of what I won’t miss about New York consists of one item only: puddles of stagnant water. It is a complete mystery to me that in this day and age a city like New York doesn’t have proper drainage or guttering. It means that when it rains (and its been raining a lot lately being Spring) a day or even up to a week later you have puddles and pools of the most vile, stagnant water, usually where the gutter dips for you to cross the street. When the sun comes out and it heats up, you can imagine the smell.

And aside from the smell, I’ve seen it in an array of colours from green, yellow, grey and a bluish hue I can only put down to oil from the roads.

But, this isn’t really the point of why I am describing it to you all in such great detail. I’ve come to realise that New York is a city that comes to you whether you like it or not. There are pools of water to skip over, dog poo to dodge, people on every street corner of every hour of the day, traffic, skyscrapers, the subway to navigate.

There is a very definitely physicality to New York that I suppose is why it gets under you skin.

You walk in and out of shadows cast long by the afternoon sunlight, over a rush of air from the subway and into a tangle of dogs on leashes. You push the barrier to enter the subway. You bundle in and out of cabs. You pay cash for everything because of the tipping system, constantly fingering dollar bills. You talk loudly, because every one does.

The city is served up to you on a plate, which is really what is so wonderful about it, and I can see now why people come here and never leave.

Photos: Andrew Montague

What I’m wearing:
Vintage dress: a consignment store in the East Village
Heels: Joanne Mercer
Bag: Oroton
Jewellery: Ottoman Treasures
Belt: Kookai, from an op-shop

Lady Melbourne in New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

Lady Melbourne in New York

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  • Hi Lady M!

    Loving seeing all your coverage of my fav City (after Melbourne of course).
    Its funny you say that, the first time I visited NY after months of travelling Europe, it hit a special spot like no other city. I kept thinking about it even when I returned to melbourne, Fast forward 4 years on and I decided to move here at the start of the year after living here a short while. It was also a pleasure to meet you at the Nufnang Melbourne blogger event last year, I hope to see you around the big City while you are here 🙂 xx

  • Lizzie

    ..but I’ve always understood that like Hong Kong, the reason that all those skyscrapers could be built on Manhattan island, is because the land underneath sits on solid rock, that goes right down to God knows where – a hundred feet or more below the bed of the Hudson River? Maybe the swampy bits are nowhere near Manhattan but still in New York…?

  • The Glamouristsa

    It totally got under my skin, and into my heart! I have felt as if I were simply born in the wrong city ever since we got back. I often accidentally refer to it as “home”. Dying to hear more about your amazing NYC experience!

  • Mandy O

    Funny Maree how me and my “Chinese nose” could not detect a drop of smelly H2O anywhere amidst the delightful odours of fresh strawberries and lychees!!!
    I too love NY esp Yellow Rat Bastard and Pearl River emporium… but perhaps you might like to share your culinary adventures Maree esp those in Korea Town!
    As always Lady M u r a genuine traffic stopper!

  • Lady Melbourne

    I’m really thrilled you are all enjoying my posts, and I knew that I wasn’t alone in this morbid fascination with the stagnant water!

  • Maree

    I hope Mandy O is reading this … she still insists on telling the story of how I was gagging over the smell of strawberries in Chinatown when it was the dreadful, smelly, stagnant water in a blocked drain!!! I love NY – lucky you!

  • Em

    Love your observations. The stagnant water rises from the the ground because areas of New York are actually built on a swamp… yes, that’s right – a swamp… the ground is unstable.

  • No doubt about it there is a certain grit to NYC! Love it!

  • Molly

    Very interesting post…I think of NYC as a city that one either loves or they hate. I myself see it as a day-trip, or a short few days at that. I could never live there though, too many things going on — it would get to me after a while. Nice outfit choice as usual, though I’m a bit on the fence with the heels.

  • Henrietta

    Loving your posts about New York Phoebe, can we have some more please?