The Duality of New York

What it’s really like living in Gotham City

Zoe Naz


An enigma, a reality, a delusion, a nightmare, a fantasy, a wet dream — There is New York, and there’s everywhere else.

Maybe you’re sitting everywhere else watching recaps of Friends or Seinfeld desiring to get out of a place that feels like Groundhogs day, where people wake up smiling because they are breathing, and consider that the miracle of photosynthesis.

Maybe you are in an insomnia-daze, staring out of the tiny window in your dark, minuscule New York apartment wondering why you can’t stop the noisy chatter in your head, why the sirens are blaring, why your boss is a dick, why you forgot to order milk for your coffee, and why there’s a good chance Trump will get reelected…

Well, that was me.

I was intentional on my move to New York, the way someone is intentional about deciding if Thai or Chinese sounds better for dinner.

At 2 AM, it’s not like there were many other options — San Francisco felt too familiar, Los Angeles felt too soft, Chicago too cold — New York felt like just the amount of spice to match my palette.

At 32, I decided to uproot my safety net, a 7-year relationship, job, home, and all, to snuggle up with 20 million strangers in the city that never sleeps.

I got a leadership role at one of the fastest-growing tech companies. I was recently heartbroken from an unhealthy relationship that abruptly ended when it came time to put our names on the dotted line…of the lease for a beautiful 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

I had arrived. But no one noticed except the harsh winter, who greeted me with a slap in the face and the flu.

New York is where life picked me up and gave me a dose of extra-strength medicine I didn’t ask for, cured me, and then ultimately drove me away to greener pastures.

The duality of the city mirrored my own.

But this time, I couldn’t hide from it. Here’s what its really like living in New York, not the glitzy version you see in Sex and the City, more like Senses and the City.

You can feel it

You can taste it



Zoe Naz

Writer | Provocative ideas on sex, relationships & culture | Lover of darkness, duality, and depth /