What I most enjoy about a city as big as NYC is the feeling of being unremarkable and anonymous and hence getting a lot of your own space (not always literally). My impression is not everyone likes this feeling and there are sociological theories against it: indeed it figures many move to small towns like the one I live in now to sense knowing the place and having a degree of predictability.
For those who have always felt different in whichever environment, embarking to a big city can be a refreshing experience, though.
Am wondering around with a book I bought, in a red bag, hair still wet, I sit in a cafeteria to read it and write emails. The taxis go past, the coffee is ok, I seem to be noticed by no-one with my slightly worn clothes, also slightly worn smartphone, and a book that accompanies another book of a 19th century political economist.
I suppose I could literally be a graduate student from the next university, a professor from the next state, an academic tourist from Finland – none of which I am – and nobody could tell the difference nor even reflect on it.
To embrace this new sense of normalcy I adapt new habits: I like it that I always feel busy here even as I am walking to nowhere in particular and try developing a kind of a blase attitude to accompany the busyness.