There’s two types of people in NYC, the one’s who stay for now and the ones who stay forever -I’m here for now. For me, New York is a place to come while I’m young to have fun, grow my career and generally prosper in all aspects of life. However, after I’ve fulfilled one kickass life experience, gained a wealth of knowledge and made some lifelong friendships, I feel it’s only necessary to move somewhere much more practical.
I’m one of the lucky few that can walk to work (best real estate decision ever), but when I’m going somewhere that’s not work I start my commute with one big decision -what transportation method am I going to use? Subway, bus, train, bike, walk, taxi, Uber, Via, Lyft, etc. -that decision alone could send someone into shock! Then there’s the actual commute, where there’s always traffic, the subways are crowded AF and so are the streets. It’s ironic because when I first moved here and sold my car I was so excited to get rid of it. It was liberating to be free of something I relied on so heavily and embrace a new way of living. But now I miss being able to just get in my car and go where I need to go, or being able to take a spontaneous road trip! Nonetheless, there’s nothing like experiencing NYC’s subways. And if you ever get the chance to marvel at Grand Central Station’s ceiling, it alone could bring a tear to even the most unartistic eye. It’s things like this that make you feel like you could stay forever, but things like the cost of a taxi to the airport do not.
If you’re a savvy New Yorker then you should know how to manage everyday expenses, especially transportation! As you can usually avoid a high cost taxi/Uber by taking the subway. Groceries aren’t that much more expensive, as I get most of my week-day meals from a farmer who sells me basically any fruit or veggie for a dollar. Managing monies for dining, drinking and activities can be tricky though, as there’s just so much to experience! But ultimately that’s what makes it all worth it -all the experiences! It’s the real estate experience that makes you wonder if it’s not worth it, as signing a lease in NYC can be one of the most painful processes. Not only because signing the lease alone can cost upward of 10k for the average person, but also because you’re dealing with a plethora of fake advertisements, sketchy brokers and scary small apartments for prices that could give you a small stroke. However, despite that the general cost of living is so high, the average salary is much higher here too -and much more opportunity!
Actually the opportunities are endless! Frank Sinatra said, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Broadly meaning NYC can either make or break you. I know so many people that barely last a year here and don’t blame them one bit! However, I’m confident moving here was the best professional decision I’ve ever made, but at the end of the day I hope I don’t have to work a 9-5 lifestyle until I’m 65. So though I enjoy what I do now, I feel it’s only preparing me for what will be an even more prosperous and passionate professional future. My idea of success has changed though since first moving here as I use to be all about being a career woman, and still am! Just a different type, a slower paced type. The point is that people move here from all around the world to chase their dreams and though dreams change, it still remains that New Yorkers are some of the hardest working people out there. I can’t begin to explain how inspiring it is to see the hustle from people in all its forms. We have it all here – from unicorn startups, to craftsman and performers hustling on the streets, to Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, etc. -I could go on forever! You can truly be what ever or who ever you want to be in NYC, it’s what we’re known for.
The diversity of this city is not only incredibly humbling, but also empowering. It’s my absolute favorite thing about living here, which can be hard to explain sometimes. As unfortunately, where I come from, not everyone is use to a ton of diversity. Nonetheless, it was important for me to get out of my comfort zone and explore the world, while living in New York feels like you’re constantly globe trotting -when really you’re just going from Chinatown to Little Italy. There’s always something new to try, there’s always someone new to meet, there’s never a shortage of experiences. And obviously, it’s not only the diversity of people, it’s also the food, the neighborhoods, the architecture, etc. Everything and everyone has a story here, it’s why New York is known as a melting pot.
And while we’re on the subject of things melting in pots, let’s talk about the food. Because, if I didn’t have to worry about my weight or money I’d probably stay here forever just for the food. From Chelsea Market to Smorgasburg to restaurant row to the endless amount of NY pizza -I’ll have one of everything, please! I recently read an Uberfact that said there’s enough restaurants in New York for one person to eat out for every meal for 55 years and never visit the same place twice. As overwhelming as that sounds it’s a challenge I’d happily accept if (again) I didn’t have to worry about my weight or money. Also, it sounds like that would leave one hell of a carbon footprint.
6. Zero Space / No Nature
Joe Rogan has a really interesting theory on life that supports some of my logic behind why living in NYC can feel a bit gross. Sorry to say it, but when you see the endless amount of pollution you’d believe him too. However, I’m a bit biased as I spent the first 15 years of my life practically engulfed in nature. Now I’m engulfed in concrete, cars, trash and digital billboards with 8 million people on a tiny island. The only nature I see on my way to work everyday was probably planted there by the city, so I’ve learned take advantage of Central Park as much as possible – it’s truly the lungs of this place. I treat myself to what the internet calls forest bathing, and it’s something I’ve come to rely on to stay sane. It’s funny because even if you have all the money in the world, you still can’t buy a proper backyard in Manhattan. And at the end of the day I’m just the type of person who really enjoys lots of space, nature and alone time -all of which can be incredibly difficult to find here. However, these geographic qualities are things I’m looking for in a place I want to settle down in, and I’m not there yet.
North-easterners generally get married quite a bit older than southerners, which is something I’ve grown to greatly appreciate. As I use to think I wanted to be married with at least one kid before turning 30, but now not so much. I’m definitely not in as much of a rush, but I will admit that because so many of my friends have started families it can be hard not to feel like I need to catch up. Nonetheless, I know we’re all on our own path, but TBH this is a hard subject for me as I’ve never been much of a relationship girl. Dating in NYC has been as much fun as it has been hard. Ultimately, it’s taught me a lot about myself. I use dating apps like Hinge and The League sometimes, and have had some luck! But ya… just not the one, yet. You have to be cautious as the scene can be a bit suspect with all the finance bros and ghosting culture, but I stay hopelessly optimistic!
I hear some people say that the best part about New York is that you’re never lonely, all you have to do is go outside. I’ve also heard people say that it can be the loneliest place in the world. Often times people are away from their friends and families, and it can be intimidating to make friends when everyone has AirPods in. I’m not necessarily saying it’s hard to make friends here, especially when there’s this very untrue stereotype that all New Yorkers are rude. It just takes time to adjust like anywhere else. But the absolute hardest part about living so far away from home is the FOMO. As unfortunately, it’s not feasibly possible for me to make it to every big moment in my friends lives, which sucks because you want to be there for all the important times. But more importantly, time and distance has shown me who my true friends are. And for that I’m grateful, but I’m even more grateful for all the lifelong friendships I’ve made since moving here. It’s so refreshing to be surrounded by not only like-minded people, but also so many open-minded people. It’s exciting to know that eventually when I do leave New York I’ll have some pretty amazing friends to come visit.
It’s hard enough being so far from my friends and family, but even being away from my dogs makes me sad. I try to make it home for as many holidays and weddings as I can, but I still miss out on a lot. Also, (again, in no rush) when it comes time to start my own family, there’s just no way I could raise them in NYC. When I see moms pushing their strollers, going up and down stairs and dodging traffic, I just think to myself, “please never let that be me!” Even having a dog is much more of a responsibility here (not to compare dogs to children), but if you don’t have backyard than you get the point.
Ultimately, it’s different strokes for different folks. At least for now, in my current season of life, I know I belong in New York. However, there will come a time when I move on because despite it being the most exciting city in the world, it’s certainly not the most practical.