#10 — Museums
I could spend days — nay, weeks — in museums and art galleries. Something about walking around and gazing upon the work of another’s hand just plain soothes me. It’s like a brain massage. The variety of New York’s museums and ease of reaching them — there are like four in my neighborhood alone — is kinda awesome.
#9 — Entertainment
Quick, name a major artist that doesn’t stop in NYC on their tour. Yeah, pretty much everyone goes to this metropolis of musical perfection. Plus, there are free concerts probably every single week out of the year. And I’m not talking about Uncle Joe’s Jazz Band. I’m talking Jay-Z in Central Park. Which leads me to…
#8 — Central Park
It’s central to the city. And it’s a park. And it’s so, so much more than that. This thing has a reservoir, running trails, woods, bridges and walking paths for miles. It’s incredibly beautiful, and reflective of the seasons. It’s a (not quite) quiet escape from the sheer humanity and bustle of Manhattan. And it’s like two blocks from my apartment, which is very cool. Hey, neighbor.
#7 — Travel
Okay, so I’m new to the East Coast. Give me a break. But there are so many amazing travel opportunities a train ride away. Upstate New York is beyond gorgeous, especially in the Fall. It was months September through November in any scenic calendar I had growing up. NYC is close to amazing cities like Boston, and just a hop over the Atlantic to London. Europe is right there…a mind-blowing thought to a Californian used to 14-hour plane journeys. There’s a whole new world at my fingertips…if I can afford to explore it.
#6 — Architecture
I’m a self-declared architecture nerd. It’s the reason I love Chicago, and hate Los Angeles (sorry boo ❤). And while New York might not be as diverse in the architecture field as Chicago, it’s kind of in its own field. I mean, just look at the Empire State Building, or the Chrysler Building. One World Trade Center. Swoon. Not only that, but the humble brownstones that line Manhattan’s shady blocks have a character of their own. Each is beautifully unique. And I’m a sucker for exposed brick walls.
#5 — Food
Or as I call them, the #noms. Yeah, there’s pizza, and coffee in a cup with a Greek-ish font. But go right ahead and name a type of Ethnic food, and I can guarantee there’s a restaurant, cafe, or sidewalk stand that can damn well replicate the flavors and methods of dishes native to that country. Plus, you can get this food at any point on the spectrum — there’s the sidewalk hot dog stand and the gourmet Indian food restaurant. And everything in between. Plus, $1 pizza. Come on.
#4 — People
New Yorkers get a bad rap. I get it. It’s a city, people are busy. There’s no room for bullshit of any type. As a slighty-cynical, head-down, get-to-it kind of girl, I feel like *these are my people*. Yeah, there’s no need to be rude, but if you’re walking fast with your head down, minding your own business on your way to work, then carry on, sir. And for every rude person, I’ve learned that there are a handful more that throw a smile or a hello your way on even the windiest, cold days. So there.
#3 — Career
You have to be a fighter to have a career in the city. You have to be hungrier than hell, every damn day, to work your way up even a step-ladder in Manhattan. This is the big time. Jobs are incredibly competitive, and the hours are long. Like, 7am — 10pm long. But it’s oh so worth it. Because you’re working with some of the world’s brightest, most innovative minds, surrounded by the globe’s leading companies. This is where you make it.
#2 — Growth
All things aside, NYC is a tough city to live in. It’s expensive. Groceries are a pain to get — and expensive to have delivered. The winters are rough. The city is noisy, smelly, and busy. And this means you need to have a certain level of toughness, of acceptance that things won’t be easy. That you’ll have to walk ten blocks in the pouring rain or snow to get to work, or to pick up cough medicine, because you’re alone in a big city and you don’t have the luxury of a car, or the cash to pay for a cab. You rise to the occasion or you let it crush you. Don’t let it crush you. The shit moments will be worth the person you become.
#1 — New. York. City.
It’s probably the greatest city in the world. I’m 23 years old. Why not?