10 Things I learned From Living in New York for 10 years.
There’s this book I love titled “101 reasons to leave New York” it’s one of those reads that will cause people from out-of-town to think twice about living in New York, however the contrast for the good and the bad of living there is done so well that they will likely want to visit over and over again.
New York is a magical place, no doubt about that, the type of city that makes you believe everything is possible while keeping you on a leash. If you don’t live in the suburbs or the outskirts of the city you can walk outside at any time, day or night and you’re guaranteed to find a story for your Snapchat feed.
This is a city that comes alive in the literal sense.
- Brooklyn is king when it comes to food and eclecticism.
- Queens has become a must visit place for the bumbling Muslim and Asian communities living there and bringing their own brand of awesome culture.
- Bronx has always been special, it just took outsiders a while to notice.
- Skip down to Harlem and witness what it means to live in a melting pot.
- The east side of Manhattan is simply breathtaking, though unaffordable for 99% of us.
- Go for a run near the west side highway and you’re in for some of the most gorgeous sunsets the city has to offer.
Needless to say I love New York – it’s cliché I know, but this love comes with a pretty hefty price.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned from living in New York.
1- I am constantly asking myself, why I am living here.
It’s sad but it’s true, despite the love I have for New York, I am constantly battling the idea that the grass is not greener on the other side, I have flirted with the idea of living right outside the city many times over, going as far as wanting to move to Jersey City or West New York in New Jersey, but each time I am close to leaving, I find something worth staying for.
2- A dollar here, two hundred there.
You will spend all of your money here, period. You have to become a hermit to not spend money in New York and even when you think you’re saving, you’re not, because guess what? Rent sucks. You could walk down the street expecting to buy groceries for a few dollars and end up spending two hundred just because you stumbled across a pop up food stand or a dope juice bar.
3- I am always working, so is everyone else.
Remember when Jay Z said “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”? That’s because New Yorkers subscribe to the idea that hustling is what will get you there, (wherever “there” is) with that in mind, everyone is always working and looking for ways to turn a dollar into two. It’s noble but not everyone makes it. New Yorkers will tell you “It’s hard out here!”
4- Rude New Yorkers?
New Yorkers are always in a rush, we drive like lunatics, we walk like a colony of crazy ants and we don’t have the time to entertain bs. To an outsider, we may seem a bit rude, however we are not, New Yorkers are helpful and kind to one another, always willing to help in the right circumstances, we will not smile at you in the street like a crazy person and we will not stare at you on the train but, we know what kindness is. You’ve seen footage on the news, when disaster strikes, this city comes together like a beehive.
5- When I visit other places I sort of want to stay, but no not really!
Every vacation, every getaway, strangely I never want to go home, it’s a drag, it’s painful to leave a beach front hotel for a brick wall view and a tiny apartment.
That says a lot, that means I’m probably not that happy living in New York right? But then I remember the corner stores, the 3 AM food runs and I want to go home almost immediately.
6- Driving here changed me.
Ever want to see your significant other’s true character, put them behind the wheel in New York during rush hour. Driving here sucks, it’s one of the reason I applaud the City Bike initiative (though, they are so darn expensive). New York encourages people to use public transportation, unless you really don’t care about getting ticketed, getting random car scratches or being late, there aren’t any other alternatives.
7- Let’s talk about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
Speaking of transportation, it may seem exciting to outsiders, the idea of hopping on one of New York’s metal tubes to a selected destination but for us locals it’s a means to an end, a terrible, smelly sometimes on time, sometimes convenient means to get from point a to b for $2.75. The MTA has problems, they will get you to where you are going eventually, but you owe it to yourself and whoever is waiting for you on the other side of your destination to leave early in order to barely make it. Lately the trains have gotten so bad that they released this. A note telling employers that their employees will be late from work due to train delays.
8- New York is still heavily segregated
Surprising, I know but it’s true, New York is segregated to its core and it’s apparent when we look at the heavy disparities from block to block. John Oliver host of Last Week Tonight on HBO said “you don’t have to be intentionally racist to do things that have racist effects” he has a point, racism is everywhere yes, not all NY residents are racists, but white rich kids get all the goodies here, that’s a fact!
9- It’s kind of dirty
New York is like that cool friend with the ugly run down, smelly, rodent infested apartment. Enough said.
10- We take the good with the bad
for all its downsides, the good thing about living here is that you will never lack opportunities, work smart and hard, stay focus on your objectives, you will make it, yes you will have sleepless nights, there will be times when rent will trump the phone bill and phone bill will trump your need to have the latest pair of Jordan shoes, but New York is home to many who like yourself and myself, came for something and got way more. Plus my dad swears by this city, when I came here though, I told him it is definitely not like in the movies. The beauty of telling people you live in New York comes at the price of blood, sweat and tears. But if i’m doing it, you can too! Join us, we have cookies.
For all its flaws, it remains one of the most beautiful places in the world!
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