It’s no secret, before I moved to NYC, the closest I ever got to living in ‘The Big Apple” was my OPI nail color, “Big Apple Red.” But, after being here a little more than four months, braving the winter and mastering (kind of) the subway system, I can officially call myself a New Yorker.
Yet in the first four months (1/3 of a year), I learned a lot of my ideas about New York did not fit the reality. In some cases the reality is worse, but in most cases the reality is so much better than I ever imagined. So, here are 10 lessons I learned after four months in New York City.
- You never have to cook or do laundry.
- With online ordering from seamless and companies like flycleaners who come to your door, pick up your laundry, wash it, fold it and deliver it back to you, cooking and cleaning is a thing of the past! The best part is, I don’t even feel guilty about it. My apartment is too small to cook anything other than a salad and eggs without steaming up the entire apartment, and I have no washer, dryer or Laundromat anywhere close by. So, in reality I am being a kind roommate for ordering online, and I have no other option when it comes to laundry.
- New Yorker’s are NOT skinny from walking everywhere all the time.
- They actually take the subway everywhere. Walking is kept to nice days, which are few, and times when you have no other option. At the most, they probably walk the same as the average college student.
New Yorker’s ARE skinny because they can’t afford any of the food.
- This might be a slight exaggeration.. but the food IS really, really expensive.. Just the other day, my local grocery store (which is a block away) tried to charge me $14.99 for FOUR apples. Four. Apples. I politely said, “Uhm that’s a joke. I don’t need them.” And then I left. Thanks Food Emporium…
- You might THINK that bagels are just an “eh” food, but then you’ll have a New York bagel, and your world will change.
- This is NOT an exaggeration. New York bagels are just better. I don’t know what it is, but trust me. If you are ever in New York, Tompkins Bagels in East Village is a must.
- You won’t die, get harassed or get sucked into awkward conversation on the subway.
- In fact, it is unlikely someone will talk to you at all. People like their privacy. AKA don’t even make eye contact, because that’s just awkward and unpleasant for everyone.
- You will not find love in New York City.
- It just doesn’t happen that often, especially at 22. Everyone is either A. working too hard to dedicate to a relationship, B. too focused on getting wasted to focus on a relationship or C. all of the above. In most cases it’s C. I mean, after all, who wants to be tied down when there is so much to do? Answer: NO ONE. EVER. IN THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK.
- Getting anywhere in the city either takes five seconds or 30 minutes; there is no in-between.
- You either walk a block to wherever you need to go. Or, you take a subway; which means, you walk to the subway, wait for the train to come, ride the train, and then walk to your destination. Sometimes, if you are unlucky, you switch trains in between… The only upside to the train is the unlimited amount of reading time.
- People say New York City has the best food ever, and they are WRONG.
- NYC does a lot of things right; pizza, bagels and brunch, just to name a few. But,
when it comes to Mexican food, you can forget about finding a decent place (and if you want free chips and salsa, DO NOT LIVE HERE). And, if you want barbeque, then you are definitely in the wrong city, because nothing will compare to Kansas City in that category.
- You CAN find peace and quiet; you just have to know where to look.
- New York City, the REAL version, is nothing like what you see on TV, movies or magazines. Leave any tourist “hot spot,” and you can find empty streets, birds chirping and parks waiting to be explored. There are running paths along rivers, piers where you can freely nap and smiling faces. I am not kidding; these places really exist.
- You will struggle more than you have ever struggled before… but it will be worth it.
– You might think you know what a struggle is, but move to New York, and your struggles will only amplify. You will be pushed to your breaking point on more than one occasion from stress, exhaustion, frustration or all three. And, there may be days where you refuse to leave your apartment so you can hide from the scary world outside your window. BUT at the end of the day, nothing compares to that first feeling of success; that first month when you realized you haven’t packed up and moved home yet; that first sense of happiness in a place that once terrified you. Your weaknesses begin to build into strengths, and you love yourself for them. You realize why everyone falls in love with this place, and you rue the day you have to leave.