I moved to New York City (Manhattan, to be specific) shortly after my 23rd birthday. When I announced that I was leaving the Utah mountains for the Big Apple, I got a lot of different reactions and unsure looks. I was told several times how unsafe and unaffordable life in the “big city” is and how I wouldn’t have my own car for transportation. The same things I’m sure many New York transplants hear.
Being a stubborn Taurus girl, I didn’t listen. I went and, within hours of unloading boxes, fell deeper in love with the city on the coast opposite from where I grew up.
If you’ve ever thought, dreamt, or even considered living in New York City, do it. It’ll be unlike anything else you ever experience and you’ll be glad you took on the adventure. Here are three reasons why.
1. You’ll see New York City through the eyes of a local, not a tourist
Times Square is a fun place and somewhere everyone should visit at least once, but it’s probably one of my least favorite spots in the city. Partially because of tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason, but mostly because NYC is more than the flashing lights and billboards in Times Square. Really experiencing Manhattan means getting outside of the tourist hotspots and seeing what New York is made of.
Enjoying Summer Streets, picking up fresh tomatoes at the farmer’s market in Union Square instead of your nearby Food Emporium, having a Saturday morning bagel place, and knowing why you always carry a spare umbrella … now you’re starting to be a real New Yorker. Also, I can always spot a tourist when I’m walking down the street. Most New Yorkers wear comfy ballet flats or tennis shoes until arriving at the office.
2. You will develop an appreciation for space
I never had to share a bedroom until I got to college. And even then, I had more space in that dorm than I did at my first apartment in Manhattan. But I loved every square centimeter of that apartment. When I moved to my second apartment (a one bedroom!), I thought I was moving into a palace. I even had the luxury of a closet I could take a few steps into. Living in the city teaches you how to appreciate and utilize the space you have and how to discuss success based on square footage.
3. The food
Walking everywhere in this city allows me to try so many delicious foods. I didn’t develop my full-fledged cupcake obsession until New York introduced me to Crumbs, Baked by Melissa, Magnolia Bakery, and Butter Lane. Then there’s the to-die-for Chinese food that can be delivered to your apartment at all hours. Well, any type of food, really. No matter what type of food you’re craving, or want to try, NYC can offer it to you. And more often than not, it can be to your door in 30 minutes or less.
Whether you live in NYC for a summer, a year, or never call anywhere else home again, this is a city you’re sure to fall in love with and part of you will always be drawn back to the concrete jungle. And once you’ve conquered New York City, you’ll always be able to say you’ve done it.
Author’s note: Yes, I realize there are five boroughs that make up New York City. I’m a Manhattan girl, but I still have love for Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.