Why Blogging is a Lot Like Traveling Around New York City

Photo Credit: sunnysidepost.com

There are definitely a few advantages to living a train ride away from NYC, and I’m not referring to the high cost of living…  I got to meet three other bloggers (El Guapo, Brain Tomahawk, and Rollergiraffe) this week!  It was great meeting all of you!

In the process, I also got to spend a couple days wandering around NYC and riding on NYC transit.  As my husband and I were waiting for our train, we stopped to watch a woman sing.  And that’s when it hit me.  The musicians at Penn Station are doing exactly what a lot of bloggers are doing.  They’re hanging out, doing what they love, and hoping that maybe they’ll get lucky in the process.  Blogs actually have a lot in common with traveling around New York City.

1. There’s a lot of people, a lot of products, and a lot of stimuli all vying for your attention.  It’s easy to get lost and at times overwhelming.  Yet despite all the people it can also be lonely, especially if you don’t make any attempt to connect with other humans.

2. A quick glance rarely tells you much.  You can walk past something/someone fifty times without noticing it, only to be struck by it at a later point.

3. Some people know exactly where they’re going.  Other people clearly have no destination and meander aimlessly.  (I’m not criticizing here; pointless meandering is one of my specialties.)

4. Everywhere you look, you see and smell food.  This is great… except for when you’re on a health kick.

5. People over-share, whether accidentally or on purpose.  Sometimes this is fascinating.  (Vulnerability can be well-done.)  Other times, it’s a complete train-wreck.

6. If you spend enough time blogging, you will see a little bit of everything.  If you spend enough time on public transit, you will also see a little bit of everything…

Yes, she’s chopping an onion on the subway, and calling it performance art! Photo Credit: thedailymeal.com

7. We each come with our own superficial prejudices, whether we admit it or not.  I originally didn’t read a friend’s blog because of his avatar.  Later, he changed his avatar, and I started reading him.  It didn’t even dawn on me (until months later) that in his old picture, he looked a lot like the guy who propositioned us as children.

8. Some blogs are exactly like Dunkin Donuts, well-marketed, huge, and magnificent.  Other blogs are like Starbucks, well-marketed, everywhere… and a bit over-rated.

9. Art is entirely subjective.  One person’s odd hunk of metal is another person’s beautiful sculpture.  Ditto for subway graffiti and blogging.  Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean everyone else will feel the same.

I have absolutely no idea what this is.

10. A friendly proprietor can make or break a restaurant or a business.  Ditto for blogging.

What do you think?  In what ways do you find blogging imitates life?

*If I don’t respond to comments for a few days, please don’t hold it against me.  We are expecting power outages from the hurricane.  In other words, it’s not you, it’s me…

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50 Responses to Why Blogging is a Lot Like Traveling Around New York City

  1. amydewbrie says:

    I just recently went to NYC i loved it! such an eclectic place, it reminded me of london…only better

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a fun analogy. I can’t think of anything to add–I think you summed it up brilliantly. Hope you don’t get hit too hard by Sandy. We get used to our comforts–tough to be without power.

  3. haphillips says:

    I wish I wrote this blog, because it is dead on! I think blogging has become my way of breaking my own life down and seeing things in the smaller, everyday actions I used to just let go by! I actually take notes so I can use them later. Again, I love your stuff and hope to meet you one day?

  4. Love it! Perfect analogy. I have never been to New York. I have been very few places, actually. It’s so sad. Sob. Cool that you go to meet all those bloggers! Was it weird to see them in real life vs their fabulous™ avatars? (Le Clown claimed magnificent. I took fabulous.)

    • Oh, do you know how to do the trademark? Everyone but me knows how to do the trademark…

      *also sobbing quietly*

      It was awesome getting to meet everyone. And El Guapo looks nothing like the ocean, although he did wear an awesome carnation pin. You should definitely come visit New York! There’s no place on earth quite like NYC. Plus, I live here.

      • I do need to go to NYC. Where else can you see someone chopping an onion on the subway? Here you’d see them doing it while driving and texting, but that’s different.

        I looked up the trademark on the internet since The Clown would not tell me. You just press the alt button and type 0153 on the number pad on the side of the keyboard. It’s so cool I feel like someone with one of those scanner things they use in the supermarket. I’m putting it on everything – well everything other bloggers haven’t touched.

  5. The Waiting says:

    I love love love this post and the analogy you make! I think you allude to this in #1, but I’d also say that blogging is a lot like a big city in that you get to know people in your neighborhood amidst the cacophony of the city. I like our little neighborhood, and I love that you are my neighbor.

  6. mikeakin1 says:

    That was great reading. I went to the city a few times, and you combined these two subjects very well. Loved it!

  7. Katie says:

    Great post! I definitely see the similarities.

  8. I love the analogy! Well said! And be safe during the storm… hope everything works out okay :)

  9. Great piece! I think you draw really great comparisons. I love riding the train here and observing people. Never been to NYC, but it’s on my list! Lucky that all you fun bloggers got to hang out!

  10. El Guapo says:

    People doing their thing for anyone who wants to come and see.
    Yep, that describes blogging and NYC pretty well!

    Except that one guy who insists on screaming whatever his message is right in your face.

    Of course, you also get to meet some of the coolest people in the world! And I’m glad you were able to catch up with Roller Giraffe too.

    • I know. There is always the screaming guy or the drunken hooligan, but occasionally there are drunken blog hooligans too. And I was really glad I got to meet you guys and catch up with Roller Giraffe the next day. I’m always looking for excuses to get into the city anyway!

  11. Yeah, a butcher blade on the 6. What could POSSibly go wrong?

    Damn, I love the Apple…

  12. My blog is like Krispy Kreme…seems like a good idea at the time, but leaves you with an upset stomach.

  13. This is super-clever. And true! I love the chic cutting on onion on the subway. That’s the kind of multi-tasking I need to do to get dinner on the table on a daily basis. =)

  14. This is so spot on! I love it.
    I am so glad I got to meet you and sorry again that I missed the other bloggers for what surely would have been a good night out. New York left a big impression on us, and I know we’ll be back that way before too long. I am impressed that you had the faculties to process thoughts there, because I found NY to be so overwhelming that all my synapses will be spent until the end of the year. Stay safe and dry!

    • I’m so glad I got to meet you too! Yeah, New York City can be exhausting. You’re kind of always mentally doing ten things at once. Thanks, we are doing good here. Happy to have full internet and TV again!

  15. Lily says:

    I think this is very insightful! You bring up a lot of good points. I feel like blogging is sometimes like a family in that you can share your feelings and opinions with people and it’s almost like a safe place. I also feel like it can be a bit like high school though because there is always a popular crowd and always a lonely little group of people that I come across. Ha Nice post!

  16. Andrew says:

    I was going to do a blog about how blogging was like…. no never mind. I’m not going to try and fake it. This was way better.

  17. kathleenlisson says:

    I love this insight. It made me think of how I was in a subway station in Paris and came across a school group playing classical music. It was so beautiful. Or that time when Joshua Bell played in the subway, and hardly anyone stopped because he was ‘in the wrong venue’ so they discounted his talent.

    • I had never heard that story, but it’s fascinating! Thanks for your comment.

      • El Guapo says:

        It’s a great story, but there are an awful lot of holes in it.

        • I just read it in the Washington Post, but it really did happen there (not here). I don’t necessarily think it’s the wrong venue thing, given how many times I’ve rushed through the subway in a huge hurry myself. However, there is something to be being “validated”, and then more people showing up because of that validation. I think we see it all the time with the Freshly Pressed hoopla. And then even people who already have tons of readers want it because they want to feel validated, almost like it’s not enough to write a bestseller, but wanting a good book review specifically from person X.

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