I moved to NYC 8 years ago on a beautiful weekend in May. What I was in search of i found immediately and became aware of things i needed that i didn’t know existed. Lightly put, NYC is meant for the strong and the brave, no matter what you come here seeking there are potentially hundreds of thousands with the same agenda. Many are smarter and some have logistic advantage – I’d like to think that my clever nature doubled with determination and superb work ethic have allowed me to compete and win in the arena i stepped into from the start.
To understand my point of view and logic you have to understand where i’m from and what my biggest influencers were as a child. I’ll keep it brief. So being from a smaller less developed city like Pittsburgh, there wasn’t much to see. The highlights of our summers consisted of the local amusement park, Kennywood and going to the “The Point”. The Point is the the place Pittsburgh’s 3 famous rivers intersect. This is where all the city’s non-sport events seemed to diverge. After 25 years, nothing to see here folks – lets find some life in another place. Most vividly from my childhood i remember being influenced by movies like Muppets take Manhattan, Annie and the classic Black American version of The Wizard of Oz “The Wiz” surely the place these stories took place in were magical. How could i ever live in any other place possible, i’m talking about childhood – we haven’t even gotten to any effect Sex and the City had on the women’s empowerment movement during my college years.
I made New York City my home at the age of 24. In eight years – this is what I have learned so far. (in no particular order)
- How to walk – Directly & forcefully. You CAN NOT STOP walking unless you move to the side, there is ALWAYS someone behind you. Also – life rule: the QUICKEST way from point A to B is a straight line, you can’t wiggle waggle and dart around and in front of people in the same morning rush hour commute. I guarantee you WILL smack a bag, trip over a cane or get shoulder checked. Get out of the way or get bruised.
- Everyone is someone – EVERYWHERE you go. Whether the host at your favorite late night eatery or the guy that collects the trash in your office. Just ask – I bet they are currently working on a dream and will rival in telling you the details. 8 out 10 have a business card for said secondary career/hobby.
- NYC can be lonely – In the millions of people already here finding one to talk to can be a bigger challenge than situating your realistic career. As adults – it’s hard to pick the right few out of so many. As children you kind of interview friends by being thrown in classes or neighborhoods with them repeatedly. This can take years – don’t expect your facebook timeline to miss you.
- New Yorkers live not only in all the boroughs but the surround states as well – NJ, CT & VT included.
- The trains are safe – On average in my daily commute I see something CRAZY once a day. Whether it be a person or a situation, it’s generally on the train. This usually only alerts me because of the confined space restraint. Perhaps i’m lucky but i’ve always been able to get out of the way or off of the train in time to avoid a tragedy to my existence. Mind your business and usually every one else minds theirs. (oh and don’t get on the train wasted – you’ll end up at the sleep at the end of the line with MTA mopping around your feet)
- New Yorkers are pretty nice! Except to tourist! (GET OUT OF THE WAY) – If you’re taking a selfie with the top of the Empire State building in the background and I have to side step & maneuver around you – you may hear some choice words. Same goes for the obnoxiously loud train talk from groups donning IHEARTNYC memorabilia.
- It’s a great place to get a little bit of any kind of culture – and people are eager to share! I think it’s fabulous that i can start up a random conversation with a random person of any persuasion or color and learn something new or get a recommendation as to how i can have a cultural experience. This goes for Americans as well. This melting pot of people are all apart of NYC’s culture and sharing is a way of spreading acceptance. I’ve met the nicest people from parts of the world I couldn’t find on the globe.
- The competition is stiff – As if i was the only semi-talented small city girl with a big dream, everyone is competing for something. Even if it’s just a rent stablized apartment or the seat by the door on the train. I have learned charm and cleverness can give your skill set an edge over the competition. Everyone wants to sit next to, house or work with a lovely, funny person.
- God bless the Taxi drivers – and damn them at the same time. When you’re uptown with a downtown reservation in 20 minutes the taxi driver is nothing short of Superman, reversing time to save the unmanned baby carriage from drifting into traffic. BUT when driving or simply crossing the street, bruising your hand or ego can commence based on the level of intimidation you choose to exert upon the yellow intrusion.
- You can be social for cheap – the more competition there is the more competitive prices must be. Shop around, look for groupons and deals for everything from shopping, pampering and date nights. But always remember to write reviews to let everyone else know your experience with the deal.
Plainly put – the city has CHARMED ME, there’s just no place like it.