We have all seen the lists out there with titles like, "Most Amazing Places To Live For Recent Grads" and "Best Young Adult Cities," but at the core of it, what really makes a good city? It is the people, cost of living, entertainment, or a combination of various factors? The past few years have been a little rough for everyone in America, but no matter what type of environment you are looking for -- urban, suburban, or rural -- rankings are superb in helping one make a decision but at the end of the day, only one person can make the right choice on your new city, and that person is you.
After living in Los Angeles for a few months, I had finally made few friends, and I met them at a bar in the hip area of Silverlake —a creative enclave for artists, musicians, and writers. Above all, Silverlake is where the cutest gay men in the L.A. area can be found on the weekend; I was sold instantly. Being new to the city — and close to 3,000 miles away from home — I was very proactive about trying to meet new people in an attempt to build a life on the west coast.
I ordered a drink from the bar and I went to find my new friends. As we were catching up on the back patio, my friend Justin introduced me to a new group of people.
"Hey guys, this is my friend Jeff," Justin said. "He's from Buffalo."
"Ugh. Buffalo? As in, Buffalo, New York? I suppose you're glad to escape that hell hole."
The phrase was muttered by a dude who looked like he was a wannabe extra in a Katy Perry music video.
Instead of being rude, I asked him what wonderful city he happened to be a native of; when he said Toronto, which is less than an hour and a half from Buffalo, I assumed he had the opportunity to visit the "hell hole" that I called my hometown on a variety of occasions.
"Oh, I've never been there," he replied, "but of course, I've heard the stories. Dirty, not a lot of people, boring. You know."
We talked for a few more minutes and I let the conversation fizzle out; not because he wasn't a fan of Buffalo, but because I really wasn't interested in talking with a person who had the nerve to introduce himself in the manner he did. And quite honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Toronto and I've been there a few times.
Over the past few years, I've often asked myself ... What makes a city? Is it the population? The culture? The location? Well, of course, it's a unique combination of a variety of elements. But, after living in Los Angeles for close to a year and traveling to over a dozen cities over the past few months, I've come to realize that the largest city in the country can be just as fun as the 70th or the 110th ... it really all depends. As a new transplant to New York City, I do, however, see myself living here for a long time.
Sure, who wouldn't like to live in an international city like New York, Paris, or London? But, when it comes down to it, there is one thing I know for sure; no matter where someone lives or where they are from, if they think that they are better than the place they came from, or the place they live, I wouldn't really want to be friends with them, anyways.