What Happens When You First Move To New York

When you first get here, every place that you visit will become your favorite. You’ll rave to all of your friends back home about the first nightclub that you and your New York City friends managed to get into. You’ll feel an instantaneous kind of nostalgia at the end of a night spent at your first rooftop bar, or after your first time walking the Highline. Doing anything for the first time has a certain thrill to it, especially here, and you should revel in this feeling whenever possible. One day, you will look back on your first week here be able to forget the terror that you felt while navigating the subway system, replacing it with the satisfaction that swept over you after making it back to your apartment for the first time, all by yourself, after a night of heavy drinking.

Eventually, you’ll frequent most of those first places less and less, trading them in for the new spots that you discover — places that really appeal to you. You’ll arrive at the other side of this experience; you will feel like a seasoned New Yorker, knowing all of the go-to spots that culminate the ultimate New York City experience, the places that lend themselves to an epic New York City summer.

That first time you fall in love with someone in New York City, you won’t hold back. You’ll be reckless about the places you share with them, the subway platforms you kiss on, the streets that you stroll down together, hand-in-hand. You’ll insist on getting drinks at The Frying Pan, challenge them to a game of life-sized chess at the South Street Seaport beer garden. You won’t know the mistake you’ve made until after things have ended, and those same streets and subways start to haunt you. Those spots, your spots, the ones that you so willingly shared with that first person you loved in this city, are now poisoned. Your commute will turn into a mission to avoid all of the places you’d been together. It’s a daunting task that will feel impossible the first time you try it. It will get easier. Then one day, you can’t seem remember why you were avoiding that particular subway entrance or street corner in the first place. You resolve to make new memories at all of your favorite places. It’s hard at first, but after a few visits, these places start to feel like they belong to you again, for the most part.

You vow not to be as careless the next time around. This time, you’ll try to keep this city all to yourself. During a conversation with your latest potential love interest, this becomes harder than you thought it would be. You initially let these locations slip, and then dumb them down in an effort to make them seem not that great. You try not to notice what street you’re on while you’re walking with them, or the name of the bar you end up at the first time you kiss. You pull away from a kiss at the Union Square subway station once you realize that you’re potentially contaminating that space. You use that subway station far too often to allow this moment to affect you if this thing ever works out, and then doesn’t.

It’s only now that you’re starting to understand that trying to avoid this kind of hurt again is probably a lost cause. You might have to accept that there will always be a part of this city that reminds you of a time in your life when you were absolutely, out-of-your-mind crazy about someone you no longer know. You’ll try to accept this as a small price to pay for living in what you believe to be the greatest city there is. And maybe it really is. TC mark

 

image – Phillipp Klinger

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  • CC

    God I miss New York..

  • Marc

    As someone who just moved into Greenwich Village for the summer, I can’t wait to experience what you did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mardoqueo Mardoqueo E. Sueldo

    Why? Why sharing all this? Why???

  • Jay

    This makes me excited for NYC! Way to get me stoked :)

  • BP

    This is exactly my life right now in New York. Wow. Except I am finally at the point of not needing to avoid *every* place.

  • Daily TC Reader

    Shut up. All of you shut the f- up about New York every f-ing day. New topics, new cities, new things. Stop the bullsh-. Every single day. With similar topics and writing styles. Why? Give me something new, please.

    • maria

      then read a new blog idiot.

    • fjw

      Agreed. Hollywood and media idolizes NYC enough. It’s a fantastic city, true. But it gets way more attention that it deserves.So much that the topic has becoming mundane

    • http://miriammogilevsky.wordpress.com Miriam

      Wowwwww someone’s angry. Chill.

  • http://alovebyte.wordpress.com Love Byter

    this is way too true and so romantically sad. i still love this city and the guarantee of quick love and even quicker heartbreak. thank YOU for writing this

  • CL

    How maudlin.

    You love NYC. Thousands, if not millions, of better writers and artists have expressed that sentiment better than any of us can possibly hope.

    Find another city. Find your own voice.

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  • http://twitter.com/A_Tall_Ass_Dog John-Joseph Conway (@A_Tall_Ass_Dog)

    as someone who has spent years growing up in, working in, partying in, and having a huge chunk of my family in NYC, I totally get and relate to thinking it is the greatest city in the world. but it’s still tiring to read ThoughtCatalog’s seemingly mandatory weekly article on NYC being the greatest city in the world. does anyone wanna write about Oakland for a change? Washington DC? Buenos Aires?

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      Thank you for this. While we all could just stop reading, there are really talented writers on Thought Catalog, yet there are so many redundant articles published. I wish it would stop. I’ve scrolled past them too long without saying anything. Originality is all I ask for.

  • Dee

    Another New Yorker thinking that they are at the centre of the world, and that we all revolve around them. Yawn. Get in line.

  • Leia

    I usually can’t stand articles like this, but I’m moving to New York for the summer this weekend and this got me even more excited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arbiebaguios Arbie Baguios

    Could have been written better. This article was so “love-centric”. What about experiences with friends, yourself, art, etc.?

    • http://gravatar.com/lesanimauxadorable morgan

      dude, i think it’s love-centric because that’s what it’s about.

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  • http://chelseaed.wordpress.com chelseaed

    Joan Didion wrote this first, and much better.

  • quecute

    I still wanna throw up every single time I ride the D train ….

  • http://twitter.com/ataraxistix S (@ataraxistix)

    Will keep in mind :) NYC, here I come!! :D

  • Besa22

    This sounds like it was written by someone whose familiarity with New York City hardly surpasses the depth of a GoogleMaps search. Either formulate fresher perspectives, or find something else to write about.

  • New York, I love you, but...

    Let me get this straight…do the majority of writers on Thought Catalog live in or around NYC? I wouldn’t have thought. It’s not like the website has gone a month without talking about the over-hyped city. I don’t even need to go to a traveler’s guide to learn about NYC…I just hit up Thought Catalog and read one of their infinite articles on the subject matter.

    PS: Not a troll, just a reader tired of reading articles on the same subject.

  • Sam

    Hundreds of other cities have a subway system. If you’ve used public transport in another city in the world you’ll get use to the New York subway system in five minutes. Pyongyang has a subway for christ’s sake.

    Actually none of this crap is specific to New York. People fall in love and break up in backwoods villages in the middle of Mongolia and have to avoid the yurt that they had their first kiss behind if they don’t want to dig up bad memories or bump in to their ex skinning a yak.

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