I’ve lived in New York for almost two months now, and while I’m eons away from becoming a New Yorker tried and true, I feel that I’ve been here long enough to let some preliminary lessons sink in. Every day I remind myself how lucky I am to be here, in the capital of the world. The place that everyone dreams of coming to launch their careers, but few actually get here to do that. The closest they get is in the movies, which don’t even begin to show you what the true New York is like. Here are five things that I’ve discovered about the real New York:
- New York isn’t for everyone. Everyone thinks that this is the place to be and where they should be if they want to make it. While it is the epicenter of so many industries, it takes decent amount of toughness and confidence. Sounds obvious, but it’s not. This city is fast, and if you don’t know where you’re going or what you want, step aside because there’s thousands of others that do. Unless you’re really driven and have a five year plan, New York isn’t for you.
- Getting anywhere takes a considerable amount of time, although the subway becomes one of your closest companions, especially if there’s no traffic and the train is running at regular speed.
- New York isn’t the scary place it once was. The New York of the 70s, 80s and 90s is long gone, and here to stay is gentrification and lots of money. Taking the subway no longer involves praying to the Virgin Mary that you’ll make it out alive. Don’t discount any neighborhood until you’ve actually visited in person, and completely disregard what the Internet has to say about it.
- Don’t be afraid of running out of money. There are likely thousands of other people in your shoes who are somehow making it work with what they have and probably having a lot of fun as well. You can to!
- Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. Every New Yorker is in his or her own bubble, often furiously pacing to and from their day jobs trying to imagine being anywhere but midtown Manhattan. But if you’re a tourist or unfamiliar with where to go or how to get somewhere, just ask someone. If you slow a New Yorker down, provided they don’t look like they’re on the way to witness the birth of their child, you’ll usually find that they can be quite friendly and offer some fantastic advice. And make sure to get their top three favorite restaurants, everyone loves talking about food!
P.S. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @djpeltier and on Instagram @danpeltier20 to keep up with all of my adventures in NYC!