New York Feels Like A Giant Dorm

by BILLY GRAY · February 12, 2010

    An NBC survey found that two-thirds of New Yorkers hear their neighbors "bumpin' and grindin'" at night. And one-third of those people get turned on by the sound! Doesn't it (well, the first part) bring you back to college? Actually, it's the not the only thing about New York life that recalls life on the quad.

    Hordes of newly-minted college grads descend on NYC the moment they recover from their commencement week hangovers. Some people, like Murray Hillbillies and, let's face it, graduate students, stubbornly cling to collegiate life. Others desperately shed any vestiges of the "best years of their lives"--varsity sweaters, beer funnels, fatness--and prepare for an (attempted) adulthood of cosmopolitan sophistication.

    But the city's density and crowded living arrangements ensure that no New Yorker (or at least Manhattanite) ever fully leaves dorm life behind.

    Unless rich enough to have a housekeeper or filthy enough to shun clean clothes altogether, the typical New Yorker still  couch-dives for quarters when it's time for that seasonal laundry run. We're also forced to weigh the question of just when it is appropriate to remove a neighbor's undergarments from the laundry machine or dryer. (I say 15 minutes is perfectly fair.)

    Until we shack up with a significant other, get hitched or make enough scratch to live on our own (22 in most of the country, but seemingly 40 in Manhattan), we all want to kill our roommates, even as the sweet sounds of their lovemaking sessions arouse 20% of us.

    As for people who want to kill us: curmudgeonly elder neighbors living in sick rent-controlled apartments, like crotchety resident advisers enjoying free dormitory digs while students go into debt paying tuition, are intent on ruining any fun we might have.

    Also, living on top of other people makes us want to actually get on top of them, producing the New York version of "dormcest." Naturally, we all have herpes as a result.

    Of course, city living still beats the dorm life. For one thing, the food is immeasurably better. The only college convience that might really improve New York is making all that grub available as a dining hall-style, all-you-can-eat buffet.

    Just don't pull a Belushi and do your best human zit impression once you've stuffed your face. That's so college.