welcome to new york
As I sit here, typing on my MacBook in a cute coffee shop and striped long-sleeve tee, I have happily come to terms with the new Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle I’ve taken on here in the city.
Adjusting to life in New York could not be more different from Sex and the City, Gossip Girl and The Mindy Project (although I probably identify more with Mindy Lahiri than anyone else on earth.)
Don’t get me wrong… there are perks. When a “walk around the neighborhood” includes Central Park and The Met or a “night out” includes a popsicle in my wine on a beautiful rooftop, or there are random pop-up events outside the office, I realize how not-normal my day-to-day life is here.
But then there’s the waiting on steamy hot subway platforms, the standing/unintentional spooning with dozens of sweaty people on the 4-5-6 or the Q train during commuting hours, the insane cost of everything and mild scent of trash and urine on the sidewalks that bring me back to reality. Oh, and the time I had my first public sob on a Monday night in Union Square.
For much of this summer, I felt like my body was literally rejecting New York. At the end of my first week of work, I actually made an emergency trip home to PA because I thought I was about to need my appendix removed. It ended up being a night in the ER and a false alarm. About a week later, I wiped out on the sidewalk, cutting open my left foot and getting what turned out to be a sprained ankle on my right. (I thought it was just sore, so I didn't get my ankle checked out for about 5 weeks and now have to squeeze physical therapy into my routine three times a week... yikes!).
Needless to say, it’s a give and take here, really. Peaks and valleys I can’t imagine experiencing anywhere else.
Things I wish I would’ve understood better before making the move:
Everything really is EXPENSIVE. I knew this, but didn’t understand the reality of it. Luckily, there is $.99 pizza slices on any given corner if you don’t have groceries or money at home. Seriously, though - the up-front moving costs and bare-minimum spending is significantly higher than anywhere else. Even deodorant and q-tips are overpriced. (Aka: Amazon Prime most things.)
There are sacrifices. We got a great deal on our apartment (by NYC standards), but we are on the 5th floor of a walk-up building. We also don’t have air conditioning. I am extremely disciplined about packing my lunch and making meals at home as much as possible so I can splurge on dinner, brunch or a show from time to time. It turns out the Crockpot graduation gift was the best thing my Granny could’ve gotten me. :)
If you’re considering moving here, look at your wallet (I was not nearly as disciplined with savings/financial planning in college as I should have been AT ALL. Just ask my parents.)
Everything takes longer than you think it will. I love not having to drive anywhere. I get to listen to podcasts, read the news, people watch, etc. on the way to work and around town. The catch, however, is that we’re at the mercy of the MTA. A destination could be 2 miles away and take 30 minutes to get to. So… plan your time accordingly.
Everyone’s been there. While some people have more Gossip Girl than Two Broke Girls lifestyles, it’s reassuring to know that pretty much everyone has cried in public, been trapped on a sweaty subway or had a grungy walk-up. It’s one of many things New Yorkers seem to unite over. We’ve all marveled at the sunset in Central Park, taken an Instagram picture on a roof and wondered where the mysterious liquid on the ground is coming from. We’ve all relied on street hot dogs for sustenance at one time or another.
One of my favorite thing about living here is that there are so. many. options! Whether it’s food, neighborhoods to wander through or random exhibits, pop-ups or events, you can spend your time in a number of ways. Something that, despite the special places they hold in my heart, other cities didn’t quite offer.
Moving somewhere in the summer proves to be challenging year after year. Small groups are on hold, projects for the fall and holidays are already in full swing, and the pace of life is a little slower, especially when I’m antsy to go-go-go and get involved in my new 'hood. Each week, little by little, I feel more and more at home in our neighborhood, my new job and routine in general.
Does anyone have tips on transitioning to a new city? Or New York? My roommate, Jada, and I are all ears!