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The Home Of The Brave

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The Home Of The Brave is not a reference to the US but to New York City (The Big Apple). We have to be brave, if not crazy, to live here and be rich to enjoy it the way it’s meant to be enjoyed. If we are not living in a rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment, we probably spend 75% of our take-home salary on rent or maintenance fees for our million dollar “studio” condo. The remaining 25% is for all our other expenses. Add to that the fact that with all the single people in NYC, the rarest of dinosaurs are the people who actually own their own apartment rather than having to sublet or share one with someone else. Even then, the rent is so exorbitant that we still pay an outrageously high percent of our salary to rent a room

Then there is what the NYC politicians would have you believe is the greatest public transportation system in the world, none other than that filthy, dilapidated, run-down, over-heated “thing” called the NYC subway system. That archaic underground mess that we all have to use to travel daily from place to place. Groaning and moaning in the summer heat as we descend, step by step, knowing that as we go deeper, we run the risk of drowning in our own sweat, waiting for a train to finally come as we step onto an air-conditioned but over-crowded car, with people trying to look around at everything but each other.

Then there are the “fragrant” aroma’s that define the city; those noxious scents of the garbage trucks as they loudly pass in the pre-dawn hours picking up those black bags left out on the street every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. Nor should we forget the garbage strewn all over the streets because the sanitation workers will, unless our garbage is neatly packaged, leave it in it’s appropriate place near the curb, ready for pick-up.

So far, I have only mentioned the noise of the garbage trucks. Let’s not forget the morning influx of traffic as cars and trucks descend the city streets moving like packs of rabid animals looking for a quick way to pass each other, cursing in foul language, as they scour the streets for a place to park. The taxi cabs, moving so fast that they think only of hitting the gas pedal to pass the cab next to them, to prove they can somehow fly over the potholes that litter the streets.

Then there is the department stores:

OH BLOOMINGDALE’S, OH BLOOMINGDALE’S
FOREVER MAY YOU BE
YOUR GROUND FLOOR OF PERFUMED SCENTS
IS ENOUGH TO ASPHYXIATE ME

The only true gem of NYC is Central Park, that oasis of respite from the hustle and bustle of the congested city streets. But if we left it up to the real-estate developers, they would eviscerate Central Park or eliminate it completely, and build even more skyscrapers to house more business’s and even costlier condos.

Don’t you just love NYC? I do, but that’s because I was born here and I occupy my own rent-stabilized apartment. What’s your excuse?