I lived in Salt Lake City for two decades, and later lived in Chicago and Los Angeles and even Portland for a summer, but here’s the thing: I didn’t know any of these places all that well. Even in Salt Lake City there are neighborhoods where I’ve never been. In those other places I rarely ventured out of my own neighborhood and when I did it was to go “downtown.”
In New York, in less than a year I have seen most areas. I have been to four of the five burroughs (Long Island being the missing one) and know roughly where everything, every neighborhood is and how to get there. I think I have taken every subway line at least once, and most of them many times already.
The nature of the space, the demographics, and the economic field here is somehow different from other cities.