After dropping everything and moving to New York City about a month ago to pursue a last-minute summer opportunity, I noticed that this place definitely has its share of unique characteristics -and I’ve compiled my observations into a very exciting list, since lists are apparently all the rage:
1. Traffic lights exist solely to give New York that charming “city” look – the actual lights themselves are merely suggestions. Apparently you can cross the street at any time so long as there are no cars coming. Or even if there are cars coming. They’ll stop or swerve or something. You just have to believe in yourself.
2. Brunch is a sacred weekend ritual to be treated with the utmost respect. This is done by sipping down 5 frozen margaritas before 2pm on a Sunday. This considered totally normal and okay.
3. Sunlight in the summer is a beautiful thing that can easily transform into a torrential downpour at a moment’s notice (which is when you realize you are stuck with the World’s Worst Umbrella that keeps collapsing, leaving you soaking wet and stranded under an awning in front of some random building in Williamsburg when all you were trying to do was walk three more blocks and attend a concert of some lesser-known band and pretend you’re cool.)
4. Subway rats are a real thing. A subway rat has the incredible ability of making a grown adult male scream and run to the other end of the platform while spewing a variety of profanities.
5. “Never talk to anyone from New Jersey. Or Staten Island.” This was one of the first things I was told upon my arrival to the city. Based on my limited time here so far, I haven’t decided if this phrase is more indicative of the elitist attitudes of Manhattanites… or if this is actually good advice.
6. There are 208+ Starbucks locations in Manhattan – a dream come true if you happen to be a gold-card-owning, caffeine-addicted, stereotypical Total White Girl. Which I may happen to be.
7. New Yorkers talk a lot about streets. Something Avenue between This Street and That Street.* One of the first things you’re asked is, “So where do you live?” (And people will probably start to form their opinion of you based on this information.)
*Also it took me 3 weeks to realize that 1st Street is not the most southern part of the island of Manhattan, which blew my mind. I truly thought I was getting the hang of this whole New-York thing until that factor was thrown in.
8. When an apartment is described as a “walk up,” it means there is no elevator, which is probably something that is better to learn before you’ve arrived to the city with 80+ lbs worth of luggage only to be met by several narrow flights of stairs winding their way up to your new place of residence.
9. Everything here costs $2-3 more than anywhere other US city I know, including Chipotle, which means, if on an intern salary, you will probably have to forgo that always-costs-extra guacamole (a difficult and painful decision to make).
10. But despite the rats and the rain and the frequent automated texts regarding the state of my checking account… this may be the greatest city in the world.