Why American bread is so sweet.

My experience of living and working in Manhattan.

David Smyth
Oct 28, 2013 · Unlisted

Each slice looks photoshopped, feels like it’s been injected with air and tastes like “candy”. It’s perfect, except that it’s fake. American bread can sit in your cupboard for 2 months and taste exactly as it did the day you bought it. It is manufactured to perfection. I love it, and I hate it.

This is my general feeling about living in the ole US of A. Well New York, to be more specific.

I’ve been here for more than 18 months now and experienced the best and worst of the capital of capitalism. Giraffe-like models in their $2,000 shoes stumble along the cobbled streets of SoHo, chatting about which up-scale brunch venue they should spend their Saturday in, gossiping about that guy who drives that car who owns that art gallery. The city is career-driven, money-driven, selfish. The evenings and weekends are for self-indulgence — an all-day brunch, a band, a “showing”. It’s all about me, and maybe about you, if you can make me better, richer, thinner, more famous.

I’m the guy that sat on that empty island in Thailand and dreamed of opening a palm-tree bar, so I could spend my days, simply — materialism free, pressure free. And so, obviously NYC is everything that I hate.

Except I don’t hate it here. I’ve tried my best to hate it, and I don’t. In fact I’ve been a little afraid to go home (Sydney).

But I’ve come to appreciate it for what it is — its beauty and its flaws — and I have a new-found appreciation for the comforts of home. New York I’ll surely miss you, it’s been a wild ride. I have ridden the materialism train for a year now, and I’m ready to hop off — back to a simpler life. But before I go here’s why I love you…

The 3 best things about living in NYC:

  1. The people — Manhattanites are:
  • At the top of their game. No matter what industry you’re in, the best of the best are here. In NYC you’re playing in the pros.
  • Friendly and helpful. After all the bad things said about New Yorkers, this one definitely surprised me. Strangers talk to each other, and I don’t just mean the crazy ones. I’ve never had so many 20 second conversations as I’ve had in NYC.

2. The treadmill — Leaving your shoebox apartment every day in NYC is like jumping on a moving treadmill. The city that never sleeps, never really stands still, never really walks either. She runs — and sometimes this what you need to get you running too.

3. Organized chaos — Cram 2 million people into a 4km strip and chaos ensues. Except somehow it doesn’t. Somehow the cogs of this crazy place move together, and amongst the garbage and traffic, are bike lanes, parks, sports courts, jogging tracks — this is a pretty darn good balance of chaos and harmony.

So as I soon head back to a simpler, calmer, slower pace of life, I know I’ll miss you NYC. You are the beautiful crazy girlfriend I know I shouldn't be with. You are the perfect, sweet, slice of bread — but I know you’re not good for me.


David Smyth

Written by

VP of Product & Design @Cabify.

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