What I’ve Learned From a Year in NYC

I’ve been living in New York City for a full year.

I never thought I’d say that!

Well, that’s a lie. When I was younger, I always imagined that I’d move to NYC post-college and live out my fashion dreams. But once I graduated, I wasn’t so sure about it. Mostly, I didn’t know how I’d ever be able to afford it. But I also started to question whether it was the place for me. After all, I love my creature comforts. Living by myself, driving to the store, cleanliness…every time I went into the city for a weekend, I’d leave feeling exhausted and ready to retreat to suburbia.

After a couple of years of living in Connecticut, though, it started to appeal again—and, most importantly, feel within reach. When I was ready to leave my first job, almost all of the opportunities I was approached about were in the city. Before I knew it, one of them just felt right.

At first, my plan was to commute from CT to NY because my lease wasn’t even close to ending. It drained ALL of my time. I didn’t mind the act of it, but it was tough not to have any free time during the week. Then, a nightmare cockroach infestation (don’t get me started) left me in search of a new place to live. 

Which, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears brought me to the city full time! This has hands-down been the fastest year of my life. Should I say it flew by in a New York minute?

Living here has been an amazing, weird, stressful, freeing whirlwind. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Now, check out some of the lessons I’ve learned in my “new” city:

Yes, It’s Really Freaking Expensive

Everyone knows this. But you don’t understand the extent until you actually live here. On the bright side, every other place you travel to will seem insanely cheap. I just went to London, and everyone warned me how expensive it is…but when I got there, I was like, ‘Oh! Affordable!’ They call that desensitization, folks.

But There Are Tons of Free Activities

I’m always Googling free activities in NYC…and there are a million every single day. For example, when I first moved, I did a ton of free workout classes before committing to a Classpass membership.

Your Bucket List Will Grow by the Day

Mine is so long that it gives me heart palpitations. So much to do, so much to eat. I don’t want to talk about it.

People Watching Is an Event in Itself

There’s a reason so many TV shows and movies are based on NYC. Countless characters.

You’ll Never Get Used to Your Fifth-Floor Walk-Up

Like, ever. 

You Can Get Anything You Want…and You Can Have It Delivered

While the food options are quite literally endless, I’m not just talking food. Wine, appliances, clothes, a manicurist, even weed…the list goes on. Which is why you won’t mind the fifth-floor walk-up.

You’ll Never Be That Girl That Wears Heels Everywhere

As much as you hoped you would be, and as many heels as you have on your shoe rack, you won’t. You just won’t.

Umbrellas Are a Danger to Society

I am convinced that my first hospital visit in this city will be due to being impaled by an umbrella.

You Should Absolutely Eat the Street Meat

This is a hill I’m willing to die on. Yes, street meat is safe! The carts are monitored and there are tons of rules and regulations they have to follow. It’s no worse than what goes on in a kitchen of a restaurant you can’t see. That being said, if you get the pretzels that have been on display all day outside of the cart, you are a sociopath.

Be on Time for Your Reservation

Places won’t seat you unless your entire party is there, no matter your excuses. So tell your late friend to figure it out.

But Be Late for Everything Else

Literally, anything else. New York time.

If You Sit in the Front Row at a Comedy Show, You Will Be Roasted

Ask me about the time I was crucified by Leslie Jones for an hour.

Dating Is Terrible

I was warned about this, but I figured it’d be the same as it was in Stamford or Boston. It is not. Abort mission.

But Finding an Apartment Is Even Worse

Holy cow. I’ve been saying for a year that I’d write a blog post about this, but I still cannot muster up the energy. As my dad so eloquently put it, “the realtors want everything including a rectal exam.”

You Can Wear Whatever You Want

That time I accidentally wore a see through dress with black underwear? People probably thought it was a new trend.

And Cry Wherever You Want

No one will come up to you or even look twice. Not. A. Soul. 

So, what have you learned from living in your city? I’d love to hear!

Colorfully Yours,

Haley

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