Words have never been truer when you hear there’s no place in the world quite like New York City.
I’m one to relate to this firsthand. After transplanting myself in the Big Apple almost three years ago, it’s easy to come across the little things I took for granted after I left.
The irreplaceable energy and non-stop grind is something I miss on a day-to-day basis. Even at my low points, I now look back and see that they were some of my best.
Being able to rise above any occasion, the resources you surround yourself with, and most importantly, the people and experiences.
Whether it’s only being able to afford dollar slices for a week until that paycheck posts to your account or the crazies stomping around Union Square; it’s the little things that you’ll come to quickly find to cherish after you’ve left the city. Here a some to name a few.
Innovation & food creations
With so many different people from all over the world coming together in one place, it’s no surprise that New York is responsible to serving as home to some of the best food out there.
With an infinite selection of mouthwatering cuisines you can find just about anything, anytime, anywhere.
You can take your pick at the likes of Baked by Melissa cupcakes, Dominque Ansel Bakery’s Cronut, Ramon Burgers, dollar slices, and Halal Guys’ $5 platters.
And with food trucks located just about on every block, there’s no reason why you should ever go hungry.
Bodegas are probably the most genius and convenient concepts ever. Where else in America can you find condemns, beer, tuna roll sandwiches, and a cat all under one roof?
I formed a meaningful bond with the store clerk at my bodega near my building and even had an IOU tab going, but he always knew I was good for it.
And if they were closed, I never ran out of options because of the dozens of 24-hour CVS and Duane Reade’s practically located on every corner.
Parties & nightlife
If it’s nighttime and you’re bored in New York, you’re doing something wrong.
From clubs in the Meatpacking District, concerts, speakeasies and beer gardens-- there’s a crowd and a place filled with high energy and exclusivity for just about anyone. I can’t stress enough how there’s ALWAYS something to do.
It’s great exercise, and not to mention it’s free. Thanks to the grid, you can haul your ass from Soho to Flatiron, looking like you just stepped fresh off the runway, and burn a shit ton of calories in a course of 7.5 miles. When running to catch the train, the steps are basically your Stairmaster.
Gett, Uber, and Lyft are way ahead in the game in New York than anywhere else.
Also, the badass feeling of hopping in a cab and demanding the driver to head to 54th and West Broadway and step on it, makes you feel like you’re invincible.
New York has a reputation of being home to some of the rudest, obnoxious, self-absorbed, know-it-all, opportunists, materialistic-human beings on the face of the earth. Nowhere else will you find such people who don’t give a shit, will tell it to you how it is, exactly how and what it is they feel.
But these exact same people, will also wear their hearts on their selves and be totally loyal. They are the realest, the best of the best, which is why I love and miss them (yes, all of them).
The crazies, the loud-mouths, the wannabe d*va bitch. Their competitiveness, charisma, and cutthroat ambition is what drives the city to function. Don’t ever change or underestimate that power.
When snowed in during a blizzard… who ya’ gonna call? Seamless for when you'll eat anything, Caviar for real food.
Wall Street a**holes
Can’t live with them, can’t live without em’. I wish I wasn’t so hard on you when you offered to buy me a drink at the bar, does the offer still stand upon my return?
Believe it or not, freaking out the f* out and losing your absolute shit in public isn’t as socially acceptable in other places as it is the city.
Only in New York, you can go from zero to 100 real quick without the stranger next to you even batting an eye.
All four seasons
There’s nothing more nostalgic than waking up and looking out your window only to see mountains of fresh powder from a record breaking blizzard from the night before; or witnessing the first blossom of the spring in Central Park; or stomping around the East Village during Halloween and trucking through crisps leaves with your spice latte in hand.
The holidays will never be the same after living in New York City.
Doesn’t matter if you’re in Chicago, Paris, London or Milan, nothing can compete or compare to the round-the-clock spirit New York harbors during the season.
It’s easy to say that you hate the subway, and yes, I can’t believe I’m admitting this myself--but for a $2.75 ride that’s 24 hours and can take you throughout all five boroughs, it’s a blessing in disguise (even with all the rats and delays).
Let me point out one thing first--no one knows how to drive. Anywhere.
But there’s something about the drivers in NYC-- their idgaf aggression, that know how to get sh*t done and step on it when you have a board room meeting that started 10min ago and you need to be downtown quicker than you can say “loft apartment.”
Trendy boutiques, high-end designer stores, thrift shops and flea markets scattered throughout the city are practically a goldmine.
Only in New York, you can go just about anywhere, whether it’s Soho, UES, or even little shops posted up in Harlem--buy a going-out outfit for less than 20 bucks and have it look like a million.
Tax exempt items
Next time you plan on picking up a pair of Yeezys in the city while out on your next shopping spree—appreciate the fact that clothing items, footwear, and goods under $110 are exempt.
Always being in an Instagrammable situation
Just do it for the gram people. The scenic views you have access to are amazing. Central Park, the iconic skyline view while crossing over a bridge to another borough, the stone covered streets of Soho and Meatpacking.
The next time you get a chance, go sit outside the fountain at the Lincoln Theater and post up to get those likes!
I’m not sure where brunch originated, but if I were to take a wild guess, I’d say the Big Apple. Nobody does brunch better than New Yorkers. You can find it just about any day of the week.
There’s nothing better than exchanging stories with your friends while over all you can drink mimosa pitchers and chicken and waffles.
And I’m not just talking about basic brunches, but party brunches. New Yorkers can show you what it really means to go hard on a Saturday next time you’re at Lavo or Bagatelle wineing and dining over truffled-eggs Benedict and Champaign showers of Dom Perigon.
All black everything
Wearing an all black wardrobe and not have anybody question if it’s laundry week.
From networking to social mixers; you never know who you’re going to meet, and if you can keep up like I did, they might just change your life.
Also, all of the random jobs you can do to make some extra cash like being a personal grocery shopper or standing in line for someone for the new iPhone release—you can’t find that anywhere else.
Feeling like any damn thing is possible and the sky is the limit. The pace of being in a metropolis that never slows down, and I’m not just talking about walking.
Because of this, no matter where I live, I’ll always have that “New York State of Mind.”[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]