A friend of mine moved to the East Coast recently, not too long after getting married. Her husband, who'd relocated here to be with her, said he missed the East Coast culture, claiming that folks here in Silicon Valley couldn't talk about anything other than their jobs. I took a little bit of offense at this. I missed the East Coast desperately when I first moved out to California, but I've come to be fairly satisfied living here, at least in terms of cultural enrichment. We've got museums, our own history, a world-class symphony...and for a language lover, there's Spanish everywhere and about every Asian language you can imagine.
Well, after returning from a recent trip to the Big Apple, I've got to concede that my friend's husband was right. There is simply nothing that competes with New York. For one thing, the European influence is everywhere, and I'm not just talking about expensive French designers (and their corresponding high prices). In just a few days, I overheard German, Italian, and Spanish---Castilian Spanish, not Mexican or Puerto Rican Spanish---and those were just the languages I recognized. I passed two language schools within blocks of each other. The cab driver who took me to Carnegie Hall was from Guinea and spoke Fulani, Creole, French, and a fourth language I don't remember. Talk about exotic!
So, yes, I love New York as a music, arts, and language aficionado...but the aforementioned cab ride that took 35 minutes and $15 for a one-mile journey, that I could do without.