In just a few months, it will be my 2-year anniversary living in New York. It’s crazy how fast the time has passed, and how much my perception about NYC has changed. I’ve discovered hidden gems and met lots of interesting people, but I also realized my expectations of glamour and glitz weren’t realistic. Life in the city is what you make it, but it’s not always easy.
I came across this blog post “Three years in Manhattan: What I’ve learned” and so many of the points in this list ring true. Here’s a few of my favorite:
- Walk fast. On the right, preferably. Bonus points for doing it without simultaneously texting.
2. This is a very expensive city, but what you spend and save is all about choices. The misery of credit card debt isn’t worth the fancy stuff we tell ourselves we deserve.
6. People here tell amazing stories. “How long have you lived here, and where are you from originally?” are great questions to get to know neighbors, new friends and coworkers.
11. Hand sanitizer and public transportation are a match made in heaven.
15. Don’t give money to anyone who stands there and shakes a cup. Do give to the singers, dancers and instrumentalists.
And here’s a few of my own to add:
- Make sure you get around to doing the “cliché” things in NYC, like walking the Brooklyn Bridge and riding bikes in Central Park. If you miss out, you’ll regret it.
- Learn the art of people-watching. It’s a relaxing and fascinating pastime.
- Wear flip flops at your own risk.
- Spend a few weeks or months partying at all the swanky places. You’ll quickly realize it’s a lot more fun (and economical) to spend time with good friends in cheap pubs.
- Some of the most fun activities in NYC are inexpensive, or free. You just have to look for them.
- The $5 umbrellas sold on sidewalks will break after every use, and I will continue to buy them.
- We’re all busy with demanding jobs. Real friends will make time for each other, no matter how busy.
I don’t know where the next year will take me; whether I’ll be celebrating 3 years (or 25) in New York City, or not. But I’m going to do my best to enjoy this city, for the good and not-so-good, while I’m here.