10 Things Someone Can Expect To Learn In the First Year Living In NYC

20130208-023409.jpg On Tuesday, I celebrated one year of living in New York with my two dearest New York friends in the comfort of my Manhattan apartment. Moving to New York City was such a great decision that I decided to honor February 7th, the day I moved to New York, the same way as I do New Year’s. It just so happens that my one friend moved here on the same exact day, so this gives the day added meaning. I couldn’t imagine my New York life without these two friends, so it was only fitting that they came over for dinner. Seasoned New Yorker brought over his cheese biscuits and Fellow Newbie brought this amazing list written on loose leaf paper entitled, “What Someone Can Expect to Learn in the First Year Living in NYC.” Without further adieu, here are 10 things someone can expect to learn in first year living in New York, as told by Fellow Newbie:

train10. The most disgusting things in the whole word can be found on the trains of the NYC subway system.

9. It is inevitable that within your first NYC year you will scream, not yell, not talk loudly, but scream profanities such as “F*ck you!” and “You’re an a**hole!” to a taxi driver.

8. You will realize that hell actually does exist on Earth and it is located on 3rd Avenue between 76th and 77th streets.

7. It is a guarantee that on a day you are walking the city streets with a slight smile on your face, appreciating its greatness, feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride that you actually live here in the amazing city of New York, a semi-truck, cab, or local driver will honk their horn with such a loud prolonged persistence that you will contemplate murdering them.

Times Square6. By the end of your first year, if not by the end of your first month in NYC, the mere thought of having to go anywhere near Times Square makes you want to kill yourself.

5. You will learn that the appropriate and only acceptable attire for women of the Upper East Side is as follows: yoga pants, oversized sweatshirt and/or t-shirt that droops exposing shoulder, unbrushed bed head looking ponytail, aviator sunglasses, a stroller, a coffee, a nanny, and a fake, half-assed man-eating grin that screams, “I’m a rigid c***.”

4. It will become apparent that those women who trudge around the city in heels are nothing more than mere masochists. You will learn that flats are not only appropriate but less of a health hazard. Wearing heels, you are destined to fall on your ass if you hit the wrong pothole, step on a grate, or get shoved by a fellow passerby.

3. The phrase, “Ugh, I need a drink!” will be spoken daily, often before 11 am.

2. You will being to truly contemplate if you can be in a relationship with a gay man. The only men in the city are homosexual and you will inevitably find yourself lusting after one, mentally envisioning your life together regardless of your lack of desired gender.

1. The desire to shoulder check, shove, or hit people with your bag will become an ever-growing rage as people enter and exit the subway.

More importantly, in our first year, hopefully you have the luck to land a truly amazing friendship. One that can withstand the trials and tribulations of the city that will bring you up when you are down, that will laugh with you until you cry and one that will always remind you are not alone in this big city, that will walk or run through this adventure with you, never letting you feel defeated.

Hopefully you find a Sonja.

Kill Them With Kindness

“Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each one a stroke of genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into usage. They form at least a rich varnish with which the routine of life is washed, and its details adorned.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve always been a huge proponent of good manners because I find that politeness comes easy for me. Why wouldn’t I be anything but cordial to my fellow human beings? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Now that I live in a city that isn’t known for its outward friendliness, I realize that there are several things that I took for granted in the friendly Midwest. Here are some of the things I took for granted:

  • People saying “excuse me” after they accidentally step on your foot.
  • Sales people who look you in the eye, smile, and say, “Thank you for shopping at the Gap. Did anyone help you today?”
  • Being greeted with a warm smile when entering a store.
  • Sales people who look you in the eye in general when helping you make a transaction.
  • Strangers on the street who smile and say hello.
  • Any level of customer service at Starbucks.
  • The “no, after you” mentality when getting on public transportation.

While outward friendliness isn’t always a strong suit of every person I’ve met on the streets of New York, I do believe that everyone is inherently friendly. Some people just don’t choose to show their friendly side. That’s why I kill everyone with kindness. I find that outward friendliness often brings out the friendliness in the other person. If it does not, than I know that the other person is truly made of stone, thus undeserving of my attention and affections. But even with these outwardly grumpy people, such as the checker at the grocery store who never makes eye contact when scanning my food items, I still can’t help but offer a smile and a “have a wonderful day.” No use in stooping to their level.

Even on the subway, when shoved into the car like sardines, I try to show a little politeness by always reaching for the highest point on the pole to make room for those who aren’t as tall as I am and need something to hold on to as the subway lurches forward. I even say “excuse me” as I push my way through the door.

I find that the majority of people are actually nice and respond well to politeness. You just have a dig a little deeper to find it in some people.