Taking a Bite of the Big Apple

New York and I, we are ready to fall in love! Or rather, I am ready to take a BITE of the Big Apple.

in NYC

Few cities have inspired as many dreamers to pursue their dreams, and even fewer have received as much great writing dedicated to them. New York City is definitely unique in that aspect. Nonetheless, I did not, however, immediately fall head-over-heels for the city. In fact, I had started off not liking the city. 

New York is not a city that will hand anything to you easy, you have to fight and prove that you are worthy of what it has to offer. When I was looking for my apartment, I was literally utilizing all known resources — brokers, craigslist, facebook, websites (read more about apartment-hunting tips HERE). It was crazy. I am so thankful that I have settled in and am ready for new challenges.

E. B. White, renowned American writer and reporter, writes in his 1948 essay “Here is New York,” that there are three New Yorks.

There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something ….Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. 

The natives, the commuters, and the settlers. I am of the last group. Thank you E. B. White, you have inspired me!

p.s. The nickname, “Big Apple,” was popularized by writer John J. Fitzgerald in the 1920s. He overheard some African American stable workers using the phrase while talking about New York’s horse racing scene. Fitzgerald loved the phrase and he named his racing column “Around the Big Apple.” In the 1930s and 40s, Jazz musicians associated the phrase with the most happen spot or gig. Interestingly, the “Big Apple” back then was not Manhattan, but Harlem.  

p.p.s. Other cities with equally fruity names include: Atlanta (the Big Peach), Tampa, FL (the Big Guava), Jakarta (the Big Durian), Bangkok (the Big Mango)




3 thoughts on “Taking a Bite of the Big Apple

  1. Galvachon

    Interesting. Do people who ‘settle’ in NY but come to a stultifying end also get a category of their own? I mean what if they come with all the initial passion but become disillusioned, fall into despair, and lose sight of their goals? These people come to hate NY but have no choice but to stay because they have nowhere left to go?

    Cause…even just starting up in NY is tough, starting with accommodations referring back to your other entry on finding housing…

    or to put it another way…

    Perhaps after taking the bite of the ‘Big Apple’, you’ll soon come to realize that the big dreams of living in NY are nothing but fabricated fallacies, a romanticized tale, a dreamer’s dream.
    In the end, it could just end up being a big city.

    Then again, it’s also up to you on how you experience ‘your’ New York.

    Some people like to bite into their apples, some peel the skin first, some juice it…I suppose I’m more practical in that I would just take a BIG CRISP BITE!

    The question then is…How do you like your apple? =P

    1. Sherry Post author

      Becoming disillusioned with the city actually is a very common theme when writing about New York. Interesting observation, thanks for sharing!

      In terms of the big apple — I think maybe one nibble at a time. Haha, I do have a lot of homework :D

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