There is just so much to be said about New York City, and some times a moment of silence (which is a rarity) would even say much more than fancy words. I could probably sit here and give you quote after quote of just about everyone and anyone famous who loves this city, but I will spare you. This is my New York City Prologue.
It is essentially the mecca of where and when everything happens, both the good and bad.
I remember as a teen flipping through Seventeen Magazine and dreaming about living in New York City one day. But as life happens, your dreams shift and priorities change. However never did I expect one of my teenage dreams to become a reality in my thirties. In some ways and depending on how you look at it, in better times today. Nobody has fond memories of New York City in the nineties, for folks visiting at least. And because of this, none of our parents’ generations had anything nice to say about our relocation decision, and the rest, well, they can only say what they know from their own personal experience or seen and heard through media.
One thing for certain is that, you truly cannot speak for it until you have lived and breathed it for yourself in this grimy city. And that one visit, where shopping on Fifth Avenue and taking photos in Times Square does not really count.
The often misconstrued perception is that people live these Sex And The City slash Gossip Girls lives, and I have witnessed a handful of girls strutting as though they are Carrie Bradshaw. But what I quickly learned is that you can be whatever you want to be, because most of the time, people don’t care too much about you, they have enough of their own shit to deal with, and more often than not, there are enough crazy people and assuming you are just another.
But then again, I guess it’s better to imagine the glamorous side than clouding your mind with horrid episodes from Law & Order SVU and CSI New York! Because then it can become extremely difficult to get your foot out the door, let alone walk normally down any street without looking full on Sixth Sense paranoid!
It has only been a solid month since my hubby and I have been getting adjusted, and well, one thing is for sure, you either hate it or love it.
We all know this, but I found this cute (yet simply factual) book by Nathan Pyle on the most basic New York City survival guide. They are probably the most stereotypical, logical no-brainers and yet it’s still being committed by some tool. So consider it a “friendly” reminder for your next visit.
1. You are always in someone’s way. Walk fast (side-by-side strolling tends not to end well), don’t stop abruptly, and look up!
2. Be respectful to others’ personal space. This means everything. I am especially referring to those visiting from Asia.. China.. there is no need for breathing down my neck at any time, ever.
3. It’s common sense right? We ALL have places to go, and we ALL paid the same $2.75 for the Subway so you are no exception, Metro Card or not.
4. Be assertive and polite. If someone is in your way, kindly “excuse/pardon” your way around. No big deal.
5. New Yorkers are not being Snobs. It is just the harsh reality when you become a local. It all makes sense now. Midtown = Tourists = Avoid when and where possible.
6. Bodega is not some bodacious word, but I guess it is like magic.
7. Despite what you hear or see, use a map (hello google map app? if you don’t want to look so obviously lost!). Just because you don’t carry one doesn’t make you look any “less” Tourist-y. The big fat DSLR hanging off your neck and out-of-town outfit says it all. And if you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask. Most New Yorkers are more than willing to help, just get to the point.
8. You will put your lungs through an ultimate test. Holding your breath is not a game here, it is for the survival of the fittest. And every now and then when you think you smelled funk, it probably was, but move on.
Well, there you have it. The concrete jungle that gets stomped, slept, spat, and peed on, that attracts people from all over the World, with over 8 million in population, and not including the rats, cockroaches, you name it, it is no wonder that New Yorkers are amongst some of the toughest, no-bullshit, people I have ever met, and rightfully so.
Now if only some wise-guy can invent a portable quarantine shower/fuming pit-stop, so that we can detoxify ourselves after every corner, it may not be invest-worthy to the guys over at Shark Tank, but I would be vested in one. If some brainiac can create those useless mist spraying pit-stops at Theme Parks or Disney Land or whatever – just imagine all the OCD/germaphobes thirsting for this kind of invention.
As for my own verdict to-date, despite what you just read, we are loving it in NYC. The City, the vibe, the people – there is just so much character and energy. Truly a City that never sleeps.
Stay tuned as I share my on-going style and photography adventures in New York City!