Loathing New York by Emily Baxter

I loathe New York City.

Sure, it has flashing billboards that act like strobe lights at a nightclub in Times Square. Sure, it has stupid white-washed tourists reading the Metro map upside down. Oh, and I can’t forget the pigeons. Those poop-dropping birds are the bane of my existence (because of a traumatizing incident at age six, which included an ice cream cone, a bird-feeding lady, and a super-angry business man).

But it is my home.

See, NYC is crazy and terrifying in a Stephen-King-sort-of-way (think creepy) in some parts of town, but I don’t go into those. I’m lucky to live in a small apartment with my best friend, Sarah, in Greenwich Village. We wanted the traditional place for writers and this is where we ended up.

amanda mabel bookstore
Photo courtesy of Amanda Mabel

On the corner of Broadway and 12th Street in Greenwich Village, there’s this bookshop that makes me fall in love with NYC for just three hours (or more, because hello, books!). It is kind of tourist-y, but really, it’s home when I can’t write, for when I stare at the ceiling because not a single word comes to me. Also, it’s a great money trap. I can’t stress enough that if you’re a bookworm, please make sure you have at least $200 on hand in cash.

And so, on this cold let’s-have-Elsa-destroy-NYC day, Sarah and I head to Strand. Neither of us could write what we wanted to say, so here we are. The clanging doorbell heralds us into a universe that appreciates every book of its kind out there.

“Sarah, I’m heading to Young Adult. I need inspiration,” I say to her as I climb the steps to the second floor.

“Erotica,” replies Sarah with a sly smile. Then she giggles. “Just kidding!”

Off she goes into the tall stacks. The last I see of her is her hair swinging side to side.

I glance back over real quick and then I hit something solid against me.

“I’m sorry,” he says, “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going either.”

I look up at this tall man, who’s carrying books in his arms and coffee in another. I realize I narrowly missed a coffee explosion. Phew!

“Hi,” I manage to get out. “I wasn’t paying attention.”

“So I see,” he says, his mouth curling up into a small smile. “Where you off to?”

Forward guy, asking me that. “YA,” I jerk my thumb up.

“Don’t let me keep you.” With that, he brushes past me and I feel sparks from his parka.


I turn back around to see him casually walk down the steps to the cashier to pay. He looks at me, waves, and then smiles when he leaves, the clanging doorbell ushering him out into the cold and reality.

As I walk up and browse the YA selection, I realize something. I hate New York because it is so tourist-y and wild and crazy, but right now, I think I’m in love with New York.

Nothing says NYC like a kind stranger.

Nothing says “I love you” like New York.






Emily Baxter is in the pursuit of incredible things, like vanilla-scented candles, a book, or snowfall. She loves to find little moments in time that gives her joy. Now a senior at Cedar Crest College studying communications, Emily is ready to show the world just how amazing and precious incredible things are. Emily pursues a career in mental health activism for college students, as she has bipolar II disorder and understands what it’s like to feel alone and unwanted. She’s in recovery, and she wants everyone to know that living your life is great, but discovering who you are is even better. Oh, and pursue incredible things. That’s important, too.


Amanda Mabel is a fashion and portrait photographer living in Sydney, Australia. Originally from Singapore, she moved to Perth in 2011, then Sydney in 2012. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) (Honours) at the University of Sydney. In her free time, she loves taking photographs, travelling to beautiful places, and drinking tea. She also happens to blog for Vogue Australia Spy Style. She maintains a website at www.amandamabel.com and can be found on:  Instagram  Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Tumblr  Bloglovin Flickr.

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