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16 Lessons I’ve Learned After 4 Years in New York

I’ve made it something of a regular occurrence to post anniversary checkins every year at August 15, but this year, my fourth anniversary as a New Yorker came and went. Rather than a long winded essay—as is my wont—I thought it’d be appropriate to post some lessons I’ve learned so far. (Hashtag basic, amirite?) I posted a version of this on my Facebook, so apologies for the repetition.

Without further ado:

It’s ok to cry on the street. It’s even better to cry in an ATM vestibule. Let your account balance be your guide.

If you believe a cab is a quicker way from Point A to Point B, you WILL get stuck in traffic.

More money makes it easier to live here, yes, but don’t underestimate the restorative power of a walk through Central Park while eating a plain slice.

New Yorkers are a lot nicer than their reputation belies. Except the Times Square Cookie Monster. He’s an asshole.

Never tell a cabbie where you’re going until your ass is firmly in seat. Until then, be prepared to “call” the “cops” to “report” your cabbie’s refusal to drive to Brooklyn. Or Queens.

Queens liquor store

Your local bodega always has the best sandwiches. Boar’s Head for president.

New York/Harlem/Brooklyn/Queens is safe. Stop asking, MOM.

It’s ok to leave a date halfway through. Especially when they have to “take a coke break.” Bai, Crazy!

Be nice and smile. At the very least, people will smile back. At most, doors open.

If someone invites you to weekend country escape, TAKE IT. Go to a farm. Visit the North Fork. Travel upstate. Hating the city? Refresh and recharge by getting the fuck out of town.

Avoid liquids in public at all costs. Yes, that was a hot puddle of human garbage you just stepped in. And yes, you did just sit on pee in the subway. Accept the inevitable.

Flowers beneath the Manhattan Bridge

Feeling down? Find a song that makes you strut, put in your headphones and hit the pavement.

Never wait in line. Whatever is inside the door is never worth it. Spoiler: it’s a bar with shitty and expensive drinks.

Tip your bartender, server, busboy, any service person you cross paths with. Tip them well. Service karma is real, and service industry employees are paid too little to put up with shitty customers.

Get out of your neighborhood. Visit Harlem. Take advantage of the Met. Ride the Staten Island ferry. Go to Prospect Park. Eat everything on Arthur Ave. Don’t brag about having “never left the Island.” You sound like an idiot.

Holding hands in public with your boyfriend on a beautiful day is therapeutic. Make a habit of it.

3 Comments

  1. kirstenalana says

    YES. To all of these. But especially to “It’s ok to cry on the street. It’s even better to cry in an ATM vestibule. Let your account balance be your guide.” and “Your local bodega always has the best sandwiches. Boar’s Head for president.”

    Like

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