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The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City

The first day back in Manhattan after a sizable stint away is typically a hilarious wakeup call.  My Ninja-Turtle shell of New-Yorker-disposition is nowhere in sight, and reality deals revelations swiftly and certainly throughout the day.

 

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The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City (after some time away)

  1. Snow stays white for about 4-5 hours.  After that, it’s a mud-slush-porridge of trash, melting snow, dirt, and…various unpleasant miscellany that best goes unmentioned.
  2. You can get almost any service in the world done or buy anything you want or access anything you want within about 20 minutes.  It is empowering and it is glorious and it’s so deliciously dangerous and expensive.
  3. Smiling is an invitation.  Careful.
  4. The happiest people in New York are tourists.
  5. Speaking of tourists: winter is for the die-hards, summer is for the tourists.  A woman in the nail salon dubbed me her best friend for about 10 minutes and we jointly lamented the sludge snow and difficulty of life in New York in the winter.  As Darwinian as the city can be is as tribal as it can be.  New Yorkers gotta stick together, man.
  6. What constitutes as suitably warm clothing in a driving-city is not warm enough for walking around in New York.  Overprepare.
  7. All shoes are not created equal.
  8. Never forget your chargers.
  9. Never forget your umbrella.
  10. All coffee shops are not created equal.  Though there are a handful of diamond-in-the-rough coffee shops that contain the precious trifecta of ample seating room, wifi, and dependable bathrooms (the coffee is secondary, though a few coffee shops have this, too–looking at you, FIKA, Taszo, Joe’s at Columbia University), the most dependable of coffee shops is sadly Starbucks.  The UWS Joe Coffee may have delicious espresso, but their tables are laughably small and there’s nary an open wifi signal in sight.
  11. Central Park is beautiful year-round.  It’s more comfortable at certain times of the year, but unless it’s super swampy or blizzard-ed over, there are few better places to take a walk in the world.
  12. The best way to experience New York is knowing you are going to have to leave soon.  When I’m trapped on this island without an end date, the day in-day out of dayjobbing and hustling dream-pursuing and avoiding eye contact and avoiding puddles and walking your legs off gets unbelievably tiresome.  But here I am, for 36 hours, brimming with joy and excitement and dreams and plans like the stupid naive optimistic Kat who arrived here over 2 years ago.  When your time to allow the magic the city offers is limited, it helps you realize how precious it actually is.
  13. It is the greatest city in the world.  I SAID IT.  I wouldn’t say it if I were living here right now…I don’t think.  I have had the roughest back and forth of affection with this silly place.  It’s mostly been a matter of reconciling expectation with reality.  In a few ways, this city has been a brutal slap-in-the-face and, frankly, a disappointment.  In so many other ways, it’s exceeded my wildest expectations and allowed me to pursue projects I never would have elsewhere.  The opportunities are limited.  The opportunities are limitless.

 

Hope you’re all having a beautiful start to February–I sure am.  Here’s to new opportunities.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat