Bohemia Blog by Agent Bradley Michael Lassiter
”A Country Transplant’s Reflection on City Living”
A Country Transplant's Reflection on City Living
I moved to New York City seven years ago from a tiny East Texas town of about 6,000 people. There are more people than that in some city blocks! Needless to say, the culture shock was real. I saw all kinds of behaviors and activities that I didn’t understand, and what I didn’t understand made me remarkably uncomfortable at times. Then I started to recognize what I was seeing. I began recognizing that people follow the same behaviors no matter where you go or who the people happen to be. The following is a list of things that seem strange to a country transplant, but may seem a lot more familiar with a little context. Check out these country to city comparisons and see how NYC compares to my hometown.
Sprinkler vs. Fire Hydrant
Each summer, walking through the streets of NYC you’ll see fire hydrants spraying water across roads, seemingly at random. At first I thought they were broken, then I realized that they are the equivalent of setting a sprinkler out in your yard for kids to play in. In NYC, spraying fire hydrants equate to NYC’s local water parks.
Backyard BBQ vs. NYC Street Social
You’ll frequently see large groups hanging out on the sidewalks at night with a grill and lawn chairs. They seem to be having the best time while enjoying some tasty food. This always caught me off guard until I realized that most people in NYC don’t have backyards to hold their barbecues, so they make it a neighborhood event and do it on the sidewalk. What’s not to love? NYC street parties means more space, more social, and more fun!
Fireworks at home vs. Fireworks in the middle of the street
Fireworks are the same too! With the 4th of July recently passed, watching people pop fireworks on their streets right next to the larger citywide displays was a reminder of home! Seeing birthday parties in parks and watching police officers help elderly patrons find good spots to see the attractions are common sights.
One of my favorite parts about this realization occurs when I have family come to visit and we see the sights and all of the tourist attractions. If you look closely while you’re in NYC, you’ll also see New Yorkers going about their daily lives engaging these activities as if it’s nothing special: Runners in battery park passing the Statue of Liberty every morning, bikers commuting to work across the Brooklyn Bridge, and groups of friends sharing a well-concealed bottle of wine in Central Park.
It has been amazing for me to watch how similar people really are at their core. In the end, it seems we all want the same things and follow similar behaviors. The only difference is the environment in which we do it, and New York City is a pretty fantastic environment for that.