1. Honking Horns are a New Yorker’s Ambien
At first, you’ll move to New York City and the sound of traffic will keep you up. But then, a strange thing happens: The traffic begins to soothe you. “It’s like the ocean, no?” you’ll explain to your bewildered mother. Then, when you go visit your parents in the ‘burbs, the sound of silence will literally freak you out. “Am I about to get murdered?” you’ll lie awake thinking—as you count the hours until you’re back in the city.
2. Stars: They’re Just Like Us! (Really, We Mean It, Just Pretend They’re a Nobody!)
Don’t stare at them, don’t smile knowingly at them, don’t even quickly glimpse at them—and for God’s sake don’t ask for their autograph. You’re a New Yorker: You don’t freak out over star power.
3. This is What $1,600 a Month Gets You (No, Really!)
For the privilege of living in the Upper East Side, you’ll pay $1,600 for this room with just a twin bed and fax machine.
4. “Cozy” Means You Can Reach Your Fridge From Your Bed
Ads for an apartment on Craigslist often say “cozy.” At first, you’ll think this means a nice little one-bedroom, maybe with some exposed brick or a fireplace. Nope: It means you can probably touch your fridge from your bed. Seriously, there are hundreds of apartments in this city that are 200 to 300 square feet. Sometimes you’ll have to shower in your kitchen or store your clothes in the oven. And many of them cost upwards of $1,000 a month.
5. This is Your Outdoor Space
If you want a patch of grass to call your very own in NYC, expect to pay at least $400 per month more in rent. Meet your new “private outdoor space,” the fire escape.
6. Tuesday is the New Friday
In New York your job is your life—10 hour days are the norm (even if you’re just an assistant). This means that by Tuesday, you’re exhausted and in need of a cocktail (or seven). The good news for you is that NYC has one of the best bar scenes on Earth (we have a cocktail named after our most famous borough, Manhattan)—and you never have to worry about drunken driving (woot subway!).
7. Your Bodega Guy Doubles as Your Therapist
Without a car, going to the grocery store is a hassle.So New Yorkers get almost everything they eat and drink from their corner bodega. This means your bodega guys sees it all—that 3 a.m. bottle of cheap Chardonnay you’re using to console yourself after another bad date, your affinity for Chubby Hubby and Cool Ranch Doritos after a long day at work. It won’t take long before the two of you are on a first name basis—and it won’t take long after that ‘til you start to dish on your problems. After all, with the rent you’re paying, it’s not like you can afford a real therapist.
8. You Will Never Eat a Bagel Anywhere Else Again
Sure, pizza in NYC is incredible, but there are (albeit only a few) better slices in America (ahem, New Haven). But when it comes to bagels, we rule. Soft on the inside, crusty on the outside, and slathered in cream cheese, mmmm.
9. You’ll Never Set Foot in the DMV Again… Because You’ll Forgot How to Drive
Driving in NYC is best left to the taxi drivers. The traffic is insane, no one obeys traffic lanes and you can forget about parking for less than about $20. You’ll take the subway or taxis everywhere—and pretty soon, you’ll come to love it (just read on your iPad and chill until you’re deposited at your destination). Years go by, and almost by accident, you wonder if you’ve forgotten how to drive—but you don’t really care.
10. You Will Eat Whatever You Want—and Not Gain Weight
NYC has some of the best food on earth—at all price points. You can easily spend $500 at Per Se for one of the best French meals of your life or $2 for a slice of pizza that will blow your mind. And you can get pretty much any type of food delivered anytime you like. You’d think all these delicious eats would make the pack on the pounds, but they won’t—you literally burn them off because New Yorkers walk everywhere (that restaurant’s one mile away—no problem!). Oh, and thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, you’ll be forced to look at the calories on menus of any chain restaurant, so you can forget about your appetite after that!
11. Black is the New Black
We follow fashion like Anna Wintour is looking over our shoulder (because she literally is), but no matter what “new” colors hit the runway, black will always be our first love. We cheat with the occasional pink or red or blue, but we always go back to black.
12. Manhattan is Simply “The City” (There Are No Other Cities!)
To everyone from the rich bankers to the cab drivers, Manhattan is “The City.” No explanation needed.
13. You Won’t Blink at Paying $30 for a Spin Class…
Spinning, yoga, Pilates—the notoriously thin New York woman takes these calorie-torching, body-buffing courses seriously. So not only can you expect to pay $20 to $30 per class—you can expect to get waitlisted for the class.
14. …or at Paying $14 for a Cocktail
The cocktail will come with organic juice or special ice or a sprig or something or another—and that’ll make you rationalize that $14. Seriously, the price tag will barely even register. Because compared to your dinner tab, it’s really nothing.
15. Seamless is Your New BFF
Seamless, an online service that will deliver you food from one of a zillion restaurants (you do it all online! you don’t even have to talk to anyone!), is every New Yorker’s BFF. Seriously, there are days (too hot, too cold, too rainy) when you will order both lunch and dinner from there. (It’s OK, we all do it.)
16. You’ll Learn to Make Your Job Sound a Lot Better Than it Actually is
Go to a party, bar, event (or just leave the house) and the first question anyone will ask is “what do you do?” Most likely, you have some boring job in finance or law that will literally make the other party’s eyes glaze over. So you’ll “enhance” what you do so it seems like you get paid handsomely to save lives or launch businesses or whatever. They’ll do the same.
17. You’ll Begin Judging People Who Pronounce Houston Street Wrong
There are eight million people living in NYC, and we’re literally living on top of one another. So sometimes we just don’t want to see another tourist. And one of the surest signs you’re a tourist (other than the usual suspects like wandering with a map around Times Square or taking the “Sex & The City” bus tour) is that you pronounce Houston Street like the city in Texas. It’s pronounced HOUSE-ton. This may seem trivial to you now, but give it a few months.
18. You’ll Start Reading the Tabloids
You may not be a fan of the national tabloids, but move to NYC and you will start reading the New York Post or the New York Daily News. No seriously, you will try to resist buying a copy with your morning coffee, but it will be impossible. Who can resist those crazy headlines?
19. Brooklyn is the New Manhattan
It used to be that Manhattanizes scoffed at the thought of “going over the bridge.” And yes, there are still some who do. But Brooklyn is having its moment; it offers some of the best restaurants in the five boroughs (seriously, just try getting a ressie at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare), its art scene is world class (hello Williamsburg), and plenty of celebs call it home (Maggie Gyllenhal, Solange Knowles and Michelle Williams, to name a few). How times have changed: Some Brooklynites scoff at the thought of “going over the bridge.”
20. We Complain (A Lot), But Wouldn’t Live Anywhere Else
NYC has got arts, culture, music, and restaurants that rival anywhere on Earth, but it’s expensive (the cost of living is 70 percent above average), smelly (it’s possible that a solid quarter of New Yorkers refuse to wear deodorant on the subway), and if it starts raining you can’t get a cab and flimsy umbrellas at the bodega will suddenly cost $15. And we New Yorkers complain about all—but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
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