New York State of Mind

nicholasThis Month Natural Selections interviews Nicholas Riedinger, Information Security Analyst, Information Technology.

How long have you been living in the New York area?

All my life! I was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Where do you currently live?

I live in Glendale, Queens. It’s sort of on the border of Brooklyn. When I leave the house to come to work I start out in Queens, get on the train in Brooklyn, and end up in Manhattan.

Which is your favorite neighborhood?

I’m not sure how to answer this, since there’s no one neighborhood that has it all! You got awesome food and diversity in Queens and Brooklyn, great museums and culture in Manhattan, and the Yankees in the Bronx. Staten Island doesn’t really count, does it?

What do you think is the most overrated thing in the city? And underrated? 

Overrated: Has to be New Year’s Eve in Times Square! Seriously. What is wrong with people?! How can they stand there in the bitter cold for 16 hours straight, huddled in with a hundred thousand people WITHOUT any bathroom breaks?!

Underrated: Probably the convenience. Yes, we all know it’s convenient, but have you tried living anywhere else for a prolonged period of time?! Driving to get eggs or a gallon of milk gets old really fast. So does not being able to read a book during your commute because you have to keep your eyes on the road. I love the fact that for $2.50 I can travel almost anywhere in the city and find so many different things to see and do!

What do you miss most when you are out of town? 

Being able to get a slice of pizza or stop by a halal cart at 1:30am just ‘cause. The sound of the city stirring outside the bedroom window when trying to sleep anywhere else.

If you could change one thing about NYC, what would that be? 

Probably the crowding. Seriously, if there’s not enough room on the train wait for the next one! I’m looking at you, people who get on the L train at Bedford Ave! Don’t even get me started on the 4/5/6!

What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?

This will probably sound boring, but I enjoy NOT being in the city. I like not taking the train or bus and going for a drive. Or just binge watching something on Netflix with my wife and Smokey (our cat). Being able to slow down and take a step back is refreshing. Like Ferris Bueller said: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

What is the most memorable experience you had in NYC?

Probably the first time I held hands with my wife. We were walking around 42nd and 7th on a cold winter night and trying not to get lost in the crowd. We both grabbed each other’s hand and it was like all the people and the cold just went away. We go back to that corner every year to reminisce and to get a picture of ourselves one year older (and hopefully wiser). We haven’t been punched by Elmo… yet.

If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?

I might like to move to a place like Vermont beside a lake. It seems like a nice idea until I remember I can’t live without pizza or an internet connection. I guess maple syrup is nice, but is it nice enough to deal with 3 feet of snow and no/terrible bagels? I don’t think so.

Do you think of yourself as a New Yorker?

Of course! There’s nothing more New York than being able to swear in 7 different languages when you only speak one and a half proficiently.