The Things I Miss The Most

I’ve been out of New York City for almost a week now (with many more to go), and I’ve realized I miss a lot of things I wasn’t expecting.


My college is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so the only thing you hear is students talking, partying, playing their instruments. And crickets. I honestly miss the sound of people going places, the subway rumbling beneath the sidewalk and the soles of other New Yorkers’ shoes scurrying off to start their days. I miss being able to hear the fireworks from Coney Island (every Friday night until autumn hits) from my house. I miss the constant buzz of excitement, the sense that things are always happening.

Coney Island


 There is an amazing street artist of the name De La Vega that puts his creative stamp on the city. The first time I saw his work was on the sidewalk by my high school, on the Upper East Side. It was a very simplistic chalk drawing of a fish with the words: BECOME YOUR DREAM written in bold letters.


I know this probably sounds weird, but when you have to eat all your meals in a single dining hall, you realize how unique NYC food is. While I do miss the bagels and the pizza, one of things I miss the most is actually all the stores that sell only one item. S’MAC (East 33rd Street or East 12th Street), for example, sells only mac and cheese. (I promise it will be the best mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.) Wafels & Dinges (trucks located around the city, one stationary cart on the Great Lawn in Central Park, new café in the East Village) sells only waffles with a variety of delicious toppings to smother them in. If you’ve never tried a Liége wafel with spekuloos, you haven’t really lived. And, my personal favorite, Pommes Frites (2nd Ave between 7th and St. Mark’s) serves only french fries with a menu full of interesting and strange sauces to dip them in (try the pomegranate teriyaki mayo, one of the best/weirdest). Savor these!


I’ve visited cities with subway stations that are clearly cleaner than the ones we have in New York City. But none have been more creative or alive. A lot of the street performers/musicians are actually painfully talented in the way only the undiscovered can be. But people set aside, the stations themselves have a lot of personality. On the NQR train platform at Herald Square, for example, there are green pipes that hang from the ceilings. If you put your hands over different holes, different sounds come out. Just a little something fun to do while waiting for the train. My favorite of these stations is, of course, Grand Central. But not for the constellation-covered ceiling or the analog clocks or even the shops. I love Grand Central for the whisper gallery. There are four columns, and when you speak into one of them, the person standing at the opposite column can hear what you say.

Whisper Gallery, Grand Central


As intimidating as the MTA subway and bus system may seem, you will eventually learn to navigate them like a native. I really miss being able to hop on a train and go anywhere, all by myself. (Up in Vermont, where I am, I have to rely on friends with cars.)


The benches in Central Park have the most lovely, funny, and witty engravings on them. These are for and by your fellow New Yorkers. Read them all.

Central Park, Upper West Side



Katie Yee, Bennington College

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