“It’s all a part of the New York experience!“
She explained to her friend back in Texas.
She was walking down Bushwick Ave. which, after about a mile and a half, would take her to her friend’s home in Williamsburg.
Okay, I’m going to stop there and start talking normal because this narration is beginning to sound like the introduction to a murder mystery.
I was going to try to tell you, in story form, that I walk almost everywhere in New York because:
1! —I can!
And 2! It saves money!
Cue the phrase:
“It’s all a part of the New York experience!”
Taking cars, cabs, Ubers, Lyfts, Getts, Junos, Yo-Pick-Me-Ups, WHAT HAVE YOU, they are all, in the end, too expensive for me to frequent.
So, I invest in unlimited MTA subway passes, and I swipe the worth straight out of ’em. And I walk. A lot.
Because walking is free.
“It’s all a part of the New York experience!”
During my time in Texas, I drove all over the DFW area. I regularly commuted between 5 different cities in the Metroplex. I love driving a car.
But, being able to walk through your city, and get wherever you need to go, is a wonderfully interactive experience. At this point in my life, I prefer not being reliant on my car.
I was also notorious for getting tickets in Texas. Parking and speeding. So there’s that.
I’m (typically) annoyingly positive. By instinct, I see a silver lining to just about everything and, in New York, the silver lining is that I’m here!
“It’s all a part of the New York–” You see what I’m saying?
My second day in the city, I stood on a stoop and yelled, “I’ve moved here! I’ve moved here, and I don’t care who knows it!” in my Elf voice.
I’m in New York!
I’ve been here for almost 2 months! I’m alive! I’m happy! I have a blister that encompasses the entirety of my pinky toe and, as Urgent Care confirmed last week, is mildly infected! But it’s okay!
(That’s all that interactive walking for ya.)
Some days it’s really humid.
It’s on those days that I’m reminded that I live on an island.
The subways feel like actual saunas.
Except they don’t smell like damp wood.
They smell like urine.
And sometimes there’s rats.
Oh and really big cockroaches. Biggest I’ve ever seen.
It’s the random frequency in which torrential rain showers occur that reminds me I live on an island.
I have been caught in several rain showers since my move to New York.
(Also part of reason I have an infected blister. Wet sneakers & socks, not good for walking.)
Oh, and the $5 bodega umbrellas will not save you.
Truly, it’s quite comical how awful they are.
Wearing makeup during the summertime is almost pointless for me. It’s so humid and I’m usually carrying my laptop/camera everywhere I go. AKA I’m sweating and can feel my makeup seeping into my every pore.
(Above: Smorgasburg is a seasonal marketplace that takes place on Saturdays in Williamsburg. In the parking lot of a hub near the water, local businesses set up their food stalls and offer a major variety in selection.)
Holding a bodega umbrella, you feel happy because you have found your safety. It starts raining out of nowhere, oh no, you’re caught! But you happen to stumble across a store that sells umbrellas! All is well!
10 minutes later, you’re drenched.
The umbrellas (the way they’re built) disrupt the windflow, somehow causing rain to fly at your face, horizontally, if you will, rather than falling straight down at you from the sky. It’s a weird phenomenon that I can’t explain completely.
But I hope you can just trust me and believe it.
Oh and they’re flimsy and they will break.
Being a girl caught in a rain storm in NYC is problematic because men cat call at you when you’re wearing sweats and a bag over your head.
It’s disgusting. Actually.
At first, you are aware of it and can ignore it.
After a while, it’s enough to make you want to lose it.
It’s this type of “constant” that can be compared to a ticking clock in a quiet room.
Or water drops from a leaky faucet. After a while… you JUST. WANT. IT. TO. STAAHHHHHP.
It’s not flattering. It’s confusing.
Sometimes it’s scary. But mostly it’s just irritating and makes you throw your middle finger up in the air.
I say it’s confusing because I‘m a logic based thinker and:
When guys on the street throw a few hurried lines as you walk past (you’re walking fast. Everyone is walking fast. How do the cat-callers have time to be stationary and cat call? Do they have lives? (no) They don’t seem like homeless people, it seems like they are making it by in New York… I– Anyways-)
As you walk past–they have to throw as many “compliments” at you as they can, in close succession–because soon you’ll be out of earshot, right?
It’s a lot of rushed lines together and it usually professes love and the desire to enter into a Facebook official relationship. (Real life.)
You and I are not the only person they are doing this to.
I think it is feasible for us all to agree that they are doing this to just about every woman that walks by, yes?
Confusion: doesn’t this get exhausting?
Aren’t they tired?
There’s so many of them. It has to be passed down. Who did they see doing this while growing up? Who inspired them to be this member of society? Did anyone before them succeed within this approach and thus confirm that this might be a valuable way to spend their time?
It baffles me.
I just think it’s a waste of their energy and that they could do so much better… and–I digress.
YOU CAN GET CAT CALLED ANYWHERE.
BUT IT IS NOTHING LIKE NEW YORK, PEOPLE.
IN NEW YORK IT IS EVERY DAY.
IT IS EVERY WALKING, WAKING MINUTE.
AVOID ALL CORNERS AND YOU MIGHT BE OKAY.
(THEY HANG ON CORNERS MOSTLY.)
IT IS A CULTURE.
But it’s all a part of the New York experience and if you let yourself dwell on how ridiculous it is, then you might eventually throw the ticking clock against the wall 500 times. So, what’s the point.
It’s where we are.
They are a stupid and populous group.
Which leads me to point out the best, most applicable advice I have received here, which I have now passed on to other people, who have since confirmed the tip’s relevance back to me:
MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH NO ONE!
Okay I’m being dramatic.
Within reason. You can obviously make eye contact with people in business situations and–well, you know what, actually no, that’s about it.
Look at no one.
No one normal will expect you to look at them.
Because they have also been taught this rule.
You may make eye contact with someone and the rest of your day go as according to plan. However, make eye contact with someone, and know that you run the risk of them taking this as an invitation for the “in.”
This all being said–definitely, do not, under any circumstances, SMILE at anyone.
That is an absolute request for unrequited love.
Give no one hope.
Smiling = hope.
Frowns = independence.
Everywhere you go in New York City is a photo op.
So, that’s nice. Speaking of photos and nice… my transition into the New York lifestyle wouldn’t be what it is, if it weren’t for Instagram.
*cue sentimental music*
No, but really—my transition has been extremely smooth because, being a blogger, I had already made connections with people (over Instagram) before knowing I was moving to New York.
That being said, the fab, amazing lady I work for, @michellewpark, I also met through Instagram! (Go ahead and stalk her, all my friends are obsessed with Michelle now and follow her, too.) But yes, a lot of people have asked me about how I got a job out here.
I already knew I wanted to come to New York to pursue a job in entertainment–luckily I met Michelle through blogging, met her a few times, in person, on trips to NY, and now we run a social media agency. Michelle is extremely connected and, as a byproduct, I’ve had a real crash course on getting to know what’s what and where’s where in NYC. She’s big on the food scene (hallelujah!) so a good portion of our clientele are restaurants, and that, my friends, is a #blessing.
(Free meals in NYC? These are the things I kiss the sky for.)
Add in two major factors:
1- my sister a student at NYU, my best friend, and she is living with me.
2- I have another best friend, from Dallas, that made NYC home base a year ago. (Hi Mel!)
3- (I know I said two major factors but hey, I realize there’s more.) My sister and I were randomly paired with a roommate, and she happens to be amazing. She’s chill, funny, social, open, generous, is a dancer, and a DJ.
4- My blogger friends are just as nice and supportive in real life as they are on Instagram. They have quickly become people I can casually hit up when I feel like getting out and about. And they invite me to events. Also, super nice.
There’s a lot of different personalities here, and that means there’s a lot of people being themselves. That’s what I love the most about living here–I feel like being myself feels the most right, here in New York. I have a sense of belonging, which makes any move feel easier.
Moving to a new city can be hard or overwhelming, but sometimes the newness is exciting and freeing. Depends who you are and where you’re at in life.
I moved a TON and started over a lot when I was younger. My Dad was in the Air Force and back then, I didn’t want new surroundings every 4 years. But, after living in the Dallas area for, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, my soul was practically begging to get out.
I will always love Dallas. It’s an extremely special city to me, and it represents an important portion of my life. And I know I will have a blast every time I go back.
But, New York makes me feel more at home than I’ve ever felt anywhere! The cliché, home is where the heart is?
Well, I feel like home is a place where you feel you serve a purpose.
In New York, I feel like I serve a purpose, and I feel like what I’m doing, and what I’m working toward, is self-fulfilling.
So, not only have I come to New York under familiar circumstances, I’ve also come here extremely driven and thankful for the opportunities in front of me. It’s like a great, big buffet line of opportunity. I stay busy and I appreciate (extra hard) any downtime I allow myself, because I feel like I’m earning it.
I’m constantly doing doing doing and I don’t think I’ll let up any time soon.
If I wanted to be sad or homesick or miss anyone…
I just wouldn’t have the time to.
Actually, I miss my family’s dog, Belle. 😥
That does truly hurt my heart.
See you soon, Belle! I know you can’t understand! But I haven’t really left forever!
Eh, hem, anywho.
The above photo was taken on a day that I was content creating for our client, Manhattan Portage. When I “content create” for our clients–it usually involves me styling and taking pictures of their products. Sometimes this will involve me getting in the pictures, but not often.
I have everything I want and need in New York. I met creative people before coming here, I’ve met creative people while being here. There is food from all over the world, each neighborhood has its own story, you’re packed in on an island where most people have cool dreams, and then there’s a lot of people who just do what they need in order to get by. “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
In my next blog post, I’ll cover questions I got on Instagram, that I couldn’t cover in this (already long) post. This means I’ll be giving you tips on what loving this lifestyle has done to my spending habits, planning, and decision-making processes, and—how I chose where to live.
More imporantly, I will also be telling you how and where I’ve been eating.
Thanks for stopping by.
As always, please feel free to comment below or reach out.
Alright, I’m off to find more dogs to pet!