Winning the lottery would be pretty cool. People play the lottery because having unlimited money would make life much easier. It exists because people like money and Americans are addicted to vicarious victory.
Who are we kidding? Money is great.
But sometimes, just sometimes, living in New York City is better than winning the lottery.
Certain things click into place, catalyzing a moment that is so satisfying, so transcending, it appeases you more than unlimited funds ever could.
That being said, here are 11 of those moments when you realize just that.
1. Snagging a parking spot right in front of your building
Driving in NYC is a terrible look and everyone knows that.
First of all, you have to stay sober enough to drive. What is with that? That sounds like enough of a deterrent on its own.
But, if you’re cool with not drinking, you have to sit in traffic lights and deal with mean New Yorkers who have no interest in letting you merge.
If, after all those tribulations, you’ve still driven your car over a bridge or through a tunnel, you need to find a place to park it. Ever pulled up to your apartment building, and seen an open space right in front of your door?
Yeah, because sometimes... finding free, convenient parking in NYC is better than hitting the lotto.
2. Buying a $20 bong on St. Mark's Place
Anyone ever try nurturing a marijuana habit in a city that’s not New York City?
Yes, we all used to wander through smoking shops yearning for that $400 bong. Really, who hasn't dropped $40 on a bowl after the last one tragically shattered in one mishap or another?
But then... there comes that moment when every New Yorker discovers those street vendors on St. Mark's
You could buy a beautiful bowl for $10, and that $400 bong you used to dream about?
Well, it’s on sale for only $20 on St. Mark's Place, and buying it definitely feels better than winning the lotto.
3. Cross-dress karaoking
New York City is packed with badasses who are just simply unwilling to accept the status quo.
A few weekends ago, I participated in Free Sing Day where I joined a group of all-stars while we all dressed up in the clothing of the opposite gender, chose a new name, and wandered from Astor Place to Tompkins Square Park singing a bunch of songs.
The girls wore stick-on mustaches, the boys wore eyeliner, and we all drank a lot of whiskey. Where else in America would this happen? Maybe San Francisco. Maybe.
I wore boxers that day, all day long, and they were amazing. Especially compared to thongs.
And yes, I do plan on wearing them more. Gender expression freedom is just one thing you can't purchase.
4. When you're late and you get to the subway-- just as it arrives
You sprinted up a hill while fishing your MetroCard out of your wallet, then you swiped it and ran through the turnstile without missing a beat.
You pivoted to the right, sprinted down the stairs... just as the subway car you needed roared around the corner.
Now, you know that if you stalled for even another ten seconds looking for your MetroCard, you wouldn’t have made it.
What can beat this feeling? Nothing, not even winning the lotto.
5. When a train switches to express and it's heading right to your stop
Maybe you were playing a pick-up game in the East Village, and maybe you live in East Harlem. Speaking hypothetically here.
You drag your fatigued self onto the subway, prepared to lean back and endure an hour on the subway.
Then, the subway announcer comes on and announces that the next stop, yes, the very next stop, is your stop.
Maybe lots of people on this train are outraged, but you’re thrilled.
You’ll be back in your apartment in a steaming hot shower in under twenty minutes now, and that feels amazing.
6. When Starbucks is closing and they give you free sandwiches
Are free sandwiches better than hitting the lotto?
I’ll leave that up to you to decide. (Here's a hint: you can't eat money.)