Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Things They Don't Tell You or You Simply Don't Believe About Living in NYC

1. At first the thought of paying anything more than $1000 to live with at least one roommate is simply unacceptable. Then you learn that paying less than $1000 anywhere for anything is pretty much a non-option. So you increase your budget to $1200 at the very least. But then you see a few places for $1200 and unless you feel good living on the corner of gang bang and drug dealer, suddenly the notion of living in a 2-bedroom with as many people as possible or sharing a master bedroom with your bestie, seem like the best ideas you've had since moving to NYC.

2. It rains. A lot. And when it's not raining its either sleeting or is so hot and humid that you are sweating in places you didn't know existed. NYC has approximately 2 seasons: bitter cold and disgusting hot. Spring is lovely, you can go outside without a wool jacket and not freeze to death yet you're not worrying about imminent pit stains and chafing thighs. Spring lasts about 10 days before the humidity sets in and starts to choke the life out of you. Then there's Fall. Rumored to be the most beautiful season of all in NYC. Fall lasts for less time than Spring before it starts raining and the wind gusts on the avenues conspire with the umbrella companies to ruin as many umbrellas as possible. So do yourself a favor and, as soon as the leaves start to turn color, get your butt to Central Park to take photos because tomorrow the leaves will be gone.

3. The bagels will change your life. Sure, we've all heard of the world renowned "New York bagels" but until you have one loaded with cream cheese (lox is my particular favorite), especially one that's fresh from the oven, well... simply put, you haven't lived. If you haven't had one you're probably thinking how good can a bagel really be? I know, I thought that too and I wasn't even a bagel person before moving here but then I tried one (from Ess-a-Bagel in the East Village) and the stars aligned, a rainbow appeared and a unicorn started prancing around me.

4. Your feet, knees, back or some combination of the three will be shot within the first 3 months. The amount of walking you do in this city is staggering and underestimated. For a city that does have so many walkers you'd think that the sidewalks would be a priority but it's like a daily obstacle course to avoid potholes, uneven pavement and dog shit. If you don't develop chronic back pain or fluid in your knees than your feet will be the ugliest they have ever been in your life. And don't even bother with the $15 pedicures because those disgusting calluses are the only thing saving you from having bleeding feet each night.

5. This city smells about as good as Naples and Paris combined and if you've ever been to either city than you know this is not a selling feature for New York. The days leading up to garbage day and obviously any subway station are the worst. Get used to the smell of all bodily functions and prepare yourself for it to get 10x worse in the summer. There's nothing quite like the smell of baking garbage and urine when you're hungover, or ever really, but it's even worse when you've been drinking the previous night. The saving grace, however, are the pockets of paradise known as the corner bodegas that have flower stands outside. Breath that in real deep, relish every second of that floral high because it won't last for very long.

You will become desensitized to seeing the most bizarre things. A man with a bright green beard, dressed head to toe in rainbow colored costume who's carrying a small dog? That's Ms. Colombia. A taxi driver getting out of his car at a stop light to scream at a truck driver who cut him off? Daily occurrence. A pair of drag queens wearing the most elaborate get up with legs most girls would kill for walking down 9th Ave? That's my neighbor. Gazelles and giraffes, I mean models, popping up every which way you look? Welcome to Fashion Week. A young guy with a pet (I hope) rat/bird/snake on his shoulder. You're in the East Village. Ben Stiller walking briskly past you carrying two Starbucks', wearing sunnies on an overcast winter day and looking alarmingly like Zoolander? Only in NYC. 

7. You will learn to walk very, very fast. Usually as a matter of survival on a New York sidewalk but often times because your feet are already numb anyways, you're carrying a minimum of 2 bags that weigh no less than 10 pounds each and if you don't get to wherever it is you're going 5 minutes ago you will collapse in the middle of the street. You will then meet your untimely demise by being run over by a taxi, horse drawn carriage or kabuki cab, depending on the location of your collapse.

8. Since you are now the fastest walker on the planet, you will likely develop what I like to call 'sidewalk rage'. Anyone who is walking even slightly slower than you are, can't seem to pick a side of the sidewalk to stay on or just appears to have the inability to walk in a straight line will make you more mad than a toddler who's toy has been taken away. You will have the very strong and sudden urge to yell, swear or even shove this stranger out of the way. Umbrellas will be another cause for potential rage attacks and people's need to own one large enough to fit a small family underneath and keep it open when there is not even the hint of a rain drop falling will leave you feeling angry and anxious at the same time. As for tourist season or Times Square in general, it's best to avoid both at all costs if you want to remain an upstanding member of society and not be either institutionalized or imprisoned.
9. You will not meet any single, straight, available (literally and emotionally) men no matter how hard you try so you shouldn't because it's just depressing. You had been told that its hard to meet someone in this city but you believed that you'd be the exception. Plus, movies and shows like Friends made you believe that the people who told you that were bitter liars who were probably just unhappy in their lives. You will quickly learn that they were not lying and the only reason for their bitterness was because they probably tried dating in NYC. 

10. You will feel the most inspired and energized in your life by this city. You will forgive all of its faults because of the feeling you get when you're here. You will be a part of something that's hard to explain and can only be understood by the people who also live or have lived here. You'll have a sense of belonging and know that anything goes whenever, wherever. You will believe in magic again (or still if you're like me) and finally understand why everyone says there is no other city like it. 


1 comment:

  1. thank you! thank you for your comment today--you got me so excited because those are the two main stops in Italy where we'll be spending a few days in each!!! i CAN NOT FREAKING WAIT! italy is just my dream, and i can't tell you how excited you got me about it!
    and yes, i'm totally packing jeans, at least one pair, but they're super light, so i'm sure i'll be fine!


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