Before I offer up my theory of NYC as a city of endless competition, let me say that there are at least 5 things that I really like about our fair city:
3)Cultural and Entertainment Offerings
4)No smoking in bars
5)No tax on clothes under $110
And now on to the theory....I was thinking about this on our subway ride home from the Union Square Trader Joe's. A Trader Joe's which, mind you, we arrived at when it opened at 9am on a Sunday morning and a Trader Joe's which had a long line at the door prior to it opening.
Here's my observation (and it's not necessarily an innovative breakthrough but one that becomes more lucid the longer I live here) - one of the main contributors of stress living in this city is the sheer quantity of our inhabitants within the small geographic confines of our 5 boroughs. But because there's so many of us wanting the same things, life here often becomes a series of competitions.
So, we fight each other for seats on the subway, to get a reservation at the latest "buzz" restaurant, to get a promotion at work, to get our kids into the right schools, OR simply to get your foot in the friggin' door at Trader Joe's. It's a series of battles we fight every day from the miniscule to the significant.
Some people thrive on this but I don't. As E.B. White said in his essay Here is New York: "New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience--if they did they would live elsewhere."
And yet more and more I find myself craving just that! Imagine that. Comfort and convenience! Hmm, we might have to move out of NYC after all.