If This Is How I Spend My Time, Why Am I Living In New York City?

A long, long time ago, when I was living in New York City for the very first time, one summer during college, I saw a public-service poster on the #6 subway here. And I’ve never forgotten it, even though I saw it just that one time. It was a black and white photograph of a container of Chinese food sitting on two of those white opaque cases of movies rented from Blockbuster. Back when people used tapes! Underneath, in big letters, the poster said, “If this is how you spend your time, why are you living in New York City?” I think about that question often. I’m haunted by it. It reminds me how much I want to push myself to experience the treasures of my city and the world—not to just sit home, even though that can be a lot of fun. I am where I am. I want to experience it for myself. If I’m watching TV and eating take-out…why am I living in New York City? Or Kansas City, or anywhere?

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