1. Have a nervous breakdown in public
It’s no secret that walking around New York can be a total nightmare. People shove, they scream, they yell, they barf. Whenever I have to navigate downtown Manhattan on a day I feel stressed/ depressed/ exhausted, I’m pretty sure I walk around with the most petrified look on my face. It’s an expression that lets people know that I’m very fragile right now and to please send for help. If used in any other city, you would have a swarm of people surrounding you, asking if you’re okay. But in New York, it doesn’t merit a second glance. This all might sound bleak but it’s actually why I love living in this city. I can walk down 14th street looking like a total freak on the verge of a nervous breakdown, mouthing “PLEASE HELP ME!” to strangers, and that’s okay. I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to smile for NO ONE. You know why? Because living here is expensive and hard. I’ve earned the right to lose my mind and make strangers uncomfortable by my violent sobs. Don’t like it? Move to LA where people only cry in their car or a hotel restroom.
2. Be awake for 36 hours
New Yorkers specialize in getting stuff done on little to no sleep. We also specialize in getting wasted. You haven’t really lived in New York until you’ve gone on a bender and woken up in MTV VJ John Norris’ apartment, getting spoon fed coke and listening to Bauhaus. (I’ve actually never done that before but you know…) When you live here, cray nights just happen to you on accident. You could be in bed watching TV when a friend texts you asking if you want to get drinks. So you do and four hours later, you’re at a rave making out with a boy named Skye and the sun is coming up. You just never know where you’re going to end up! It’s just like that show Sex and the City! It’s true!
3. Puke in a cab
Wait, you’re telling me you haven’t vomited in a cab while crossing the Williamsburg bridge at 4am and gotten yelled at by the cab driver? Amateur.
4. Bail on brunch plans
Brunch is like an Olympic sport around here. People DO NOT screw around. They brunch and they brunch hard. They see an opportunity for a four-hour meal with friends on a Sunday afternoon and they practically have sex with it. That being said, you wouldn’t be a true New Yorker if you just didn’t show up for brunch one day. Bailing on brunch plans is a favorite pastime of New Yorkers. I might be telling you “Yes, brunch FOR SURE tomorrow!” as I’m leaving the bar but you and I both know there’s a 12% chance (42% if there’s nothing good on TV) of that happening.
5. Contemplate moving back to wherever you came from
“Mom, Dad… New York has just been like really stressful lately. No, it’s been like really hard. I just don’t know how much longer I can live here realistically. I’m losing sight of what’s real and burning the candle at both ends. Carrie Bradshaw wasn’t kidding about this place! I don’t know if I can be a survivor like she was…”