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20 New Yorkers share why they're thankful to live in NYC

In honor of Thanksgiving, we took a moment to share why we're eternally grateful to call New York our home

By Time Out Tastemakers
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Gotham is truly an amazing city to inhabit, and we feel lucky to experience it every day. (Even though it's in our scrappy nature to rant about why it’s so difficult to live here.) In honor of the national holiday for giving thanks, we asked staff members of Time Out New York as well as our trusted Tastemakers to share why they’re especially grateful to call this melting pot of a metropolis home. (What? We tend to get a little sappy this time of year!) From its many cultural attractions and museums to our city’s parks, restaurants and nightlife, here is why we feel so fortunate to be residents (or former residents) of the greatest place in the world.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Thanksgiving in NYC 

“I’m thankful for restaurants that stay open late. Sometimes those late-night cravings get the best of me, and all I can think of is Van Leeuwen’s cookies.” — Mallory Meade, Chelsea

“I'm thankful for the culture! It’s very rare you get to live in a city with a melting pot of diverse people that have thoughtful stories to tell.” — KC Cibran, Williamsburg

“I'm thankful that NYC is the place I call home. It is where I grew up to be the woman that I am today, where I made lifelong friends, and met the love of my life.” — Elaine Chan, Queens

“I’m super thankful to call this judgement-free city home. You’re allowed to unapologetically be yourself and live your best life.” — Bridget Lo, Murray Hill

“I’m thankful for the randomness that is this city. You can hop from a pop-up museum for ’90s snack foods and then find the best slice of pizza for only $2.75, followed by stumbling upon a secret bar behind a hot dog shop. NYC has so many cool and eclectic spots. You can live here forever and still find new things to do.” — Jonathan Hartig, Upper West Side

“I am thankful for how each neighborhood has its own culture, design and aesthetic. I feel I have travelled a thousand miles after a 30-minute walk. From the food and smells to the sights, no other city offers this.” — Siobhan Chrétien, West Village

“I am eternally grateful for New York’s gorgeous parks that are filled with so much beauty and life. I would be lost without Astoria Park, Central Park and Washington Square Park. Every time I walk through one of those green spaces, I either stumble upon an incredible performer, strike up a nice conversation with a stranger or meet an adorable dog. Our parks have restorative powers.” — Jennifer Picht, Time Out New York things to do editor

“I'm thankful for the Jello shots at Meatball Shop.” — Robyn Cohen, Time Out production manager  

“I spend more time at Books Are Magic than my own apartment. I'm thankful that I have a quaint, welcoming place to go if I'm in need of a good story or want to discover a new authors. Plus, the events never disappoint! — Danielle Valente, Time Out New York Kids associate editor

"I'm thankful for the 99-cent pizza place on the corner of 6th Street and Avenue A, which always serves damn good slices of pizza for just a buck, and it is always open. It's a true godsend." — Will Gleason, Time Out New York deputy features editor

“I’m grateful to live in a city full of so much culture and diversity. I can take a culinary trip around the world without leaving my neighborhood! Another thing I’m thankful for is pay-as-you-wish museums (like the Brooklyn museum) that make art accessible to everyone.” —Delia Barth, Time Out video editor

"I am thankful that I live in a city that has so much happening! Between the art, food and music scenes that have cropped up over the years; it has opened a world to me. It sucks that the iconic New York of the past is slowly disappearing, but it's making way for the new (and much more inclusive) iconic New York that will be talked about it the coming years." —Hannah Streck, Time Out senior digital producer

“I'm thankful for being able to order Emily Pizza and MilkBar and have them both arrive at my apartment at the same time without ever having to put on pants.”— Jake Cohen, Time Out New York food & drink editor

“I'm thankful for my weekday morning coffee cart, and the always-friendly coffee vendor who works there. His $2 iced coffee and 'Have a great day!' each morning makes my daily M train commute worth it.” — Aashna Shah, Time Out designer 

“I'm thankful for all the new tickers on the subway platforms. I'm much happier knowing how long I'll have to be miserable.” — Alyson Penn, Time Out New York associate food & drink editor

“I'm thankful to live in a city with so many cabarets and piano bars. There's nothing like live performance with a piano in a small room.” — Adam Feldman, Time Out theatre and dance editor

“Every time I travel and then come back to New York City terra firma I want to kiss the ground like the (new, cool-guy) pope, but I don't, because the city streets run with piss and garbage juice. Think about that: We choose to overpay to live in a city that is so incredible that we don't mind trudging through sanitation in our Manolos or Jordans. Why? The whole city is a messy dorm room, and we are too busy working on our big ideas to worry about the refuse. People say that America doesn't make anything anymore—that's false. Our country’s most important export is culture and New York is the capital. From Broadway to bands, art to apps, as well as culinary innovations and cultural ideas, people from all over come to the city to test their concepts in the toughest crucible. I'm thankful to live in NYC for that reason. Oh, and for Glamour Duck.” —Rocky Rakovic, Time Out head of content for North America 

“I'm thankful that NYC is still a place that believes in reviving old movies on a daily basis, at theaters like Metrograph, the Quad and Film Forum. Don't put all your eggs in the Filmstruck basket…” —Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out global deputy film editor

“I'm thankful for the surfeit of artists in NYC whose work continues to surprise, especially those who are unacknowledged by the art market.” — Howard Halle, Time Out New York editor-at-large

“Now that I’ve moved to London, I’m thankful for a city that aggressively policies public transit etiquette. New Yorkers don’t manspread that much. They don’t leave their backpacks on in crowded trains. And that’s because other New Yorkers aren’t afraid to call them out.” — Alyx Gorman, Time Out global engagement lead

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