100 things I’ve learned since moving to NYC a year ago

100. The G train is the worst line in the entire MTA system.
99. Everyone is a disaster, and if you’re not one yet, you will be.
98. Crumbs cupcakes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They’re just too big and impossible to finish.
97. Magnolia Bakery, on the other hand, lives up to its solid reputation.
96. You have so little privacy in all facets of life that you don’t really care if someone sees you naked through your bedroom window (think Chloe in “Don’t Trust The B— in Apartment 23”):

Don't Trust the B
95. The guy who shouts biblical passages on the six train during rush hour makes you hate everything. It’s too early for religious psychos yet even New Yorkers are too tired to kick him off the subway.
94. There’s a parade and celebration for everything here.
93. Everyone cries in the street at some point.
92. Wind tunnels hit you like a hurricane.
91. You’ve pretended to be a foreigner to fend off creepy strangers.
90. Everyone under 30 complains about money (unless of course they’re in finance or law).
89. Old apartment locks can be impossible to open. I put it best when I said accessing your own apartment is a privilege, not a right: “New York is made up of old buildings, many of which have locks that won’t budge without giving you arthritis. Such was the case with the lock outside my first apartment building entrance door, which on average took ten minutes to open every time I wanted to get inside. There was no trick aside from patience, and I can’t tell you how many mini panic attacks I had at 2:30 a.m. on weekends, when the streets were deserted, my phone battery was low, and the rusty lock indicated that it would snap my key in half before letting me inside.”
88. Every minor mishap (i.e., a broken shower, a moldy windowsill, a faulty heater) feels worse in NYC than it would anywhere else in the country.
87. If you’re not stylish before you move to NYC, you will be once you arrive.
86. Sinks lack garbage disposals.
85. You regularly see vomit on the sidewalk and/or subway.
84. Apartment building recycling requirements are nice in theory but a pain when you just want to throw everything away before heading to work rather than sort through your bin and separate the contents.
83. At some point, your ATM account will be at the lowest it has ever been.
82. Half of your monthly earnings is strictly reserved for rent.
81. The other paycheck of the month will make you feel like a wealthy rockstar even though you’re absolutely not.

NYC from the top of the Hearst Tower
NYC from the top of the Hearst Tower

80. It’s normal for apartments not to include microwaves…or air conditioning units.
79. We have the best pizza and bagels in the country.
78. You can watch opera in five languages.
77. Drinking at any hour of the day is appropriate.
76. If you’re on a tight budget, you avoid taking taxis at all costs.
75. Unless you’re with friends who don’t want to walk three blocks.
74. Big apartments are hard to find.
73. Nobody gets married before age 31.
72. You love to make fun of native New Yorkers for not knowing how to drive or do laundry, yet you also indulge in sending your clothes out to be cleaned and public transportation.
71. You’re fully capable of walking absurdly long distances.
70. The subway platforms during the summer are hotter than hell.
69. Everything starts to annoy you after a while.
68. You begin to believe everyone has a hidden agenda.
67. You have a favorite section of the city.
66. You cringe at the thought of traveling outside Manhattan for a party (unless you’re a proud borough resident — which I used to be!).
65. It’s normal to leave the subway station through the emergency exit door.
64. People think you’re high-strung if you don’t jaywalk all the time.
63. Life without Dairy Queen blows.
62. You’ve had to enter your apartment through the fire escape. fire escape
61. Apartments without closets are the norm.
60. Second Avenue construction is never going to end.
59. Sharing a bedroom isn’t just for college students.
58. Ovens serve as storage space.
57. You have to watch where you walk, as it’s impossible for people to fully clean up after their dogs.
56. French Bulldogs run this town.
55. The subway map initially frightens and confuses you but eventually becomes second nature.
54. You want to curse restaurants/food venues that don’t have public restrooms but understand it’s a necessary policy to keep the homeless population from showering in bathroom sinks.
53. There’s a Starbucks on every block and yet the lines are always ridiculously long.
52. The subway is almost always crowded.
51. Empty train cars indicate a homeless person is on board.
50. You’ll get knocked into a sidewalk trash pile at some point.
49. You meet a lot of people with weird names.
48. Guys will try to steal taxis from girls and even put up a fight for them. My roommate once had to cuss out a guy who threw me in front of a cab.
47. Deranged people are a part of your everyday life — and commute.
46. Any bar that offers free food with a beer (i.e., Crocodile Lounge, Merrion Square) is a winner.
45. Your stories are crazier than those of your friends in any other part of the country.
44. You’re always on the lookout for “30 Rock” or “Gossip Girl” shoots/actors.
43. Taxi rides along the water are peaceful.
42. Taxi drivers will deny you rides home, even if you’re stranded somewhere at 4 a.m. and terrified.
41. New Yorkers don’t know how to handle hurricanes.

40. When the subway shuts down during rush hour, you may never get to work.
39. Dunkin’ Donuts is faster, more efficient, and more reliable than Starbucks.
38. At some point in time, your neighbors and/or roommate will hear you messing around with someone in your room. If they don’t hear you moaning, they’ll hear the bed squeaking  The walls are just too damn thin.
37. You hate not living downtown…until hurricanes hit and destroy everything below 41st Street:
East Village Hurricane Sandy

36. You see a lot of yellow puddles on sidewalks and never know whether it’s human or animal urine.
35. Even if there’s a hurricane and your apartment is unlivable for days or even weeks, your landlord will still charge you full rent.
34. You’re indifferent to celebrity sightings. This isn’t LA!
33. Grocery stores are circuses.
32. Everyone runs off misery, adrenaline, and ambition. The last two keep you going, but sometimes you worry the first is enough to derail your life goals.
31. The LIRR and Metro-North delay service if there’s a leaf on the track.
30. You’re constantly meeting new people, which keeps things interesting. Girls show
29. Sometimes the subway is faster than a cab. Too.much.traffic.
28. People with children are universally loathed. I don’t dislike them, but the reality is there simply isn’t enough space on a full subway for a stroller. Moms and dads in NYC, you have my sympathy! ❤
27. If you give up your seat on the subway for a pregnant or disabled person, someone will usually be so inspired and moved by your random act of kindness that he/she will offer you his/her seat. Courtesy is contagious, even here.
26. Dean & Deluca is a dangerous (read: expensive) addiction.
25. New Yorkers really know how to come together in the aftermath of a major tragedy. Lookin’ at you, Hurricane Sandy Relief organizations!
24. Rainy days are terrifying because sooner or later, you’re going to get whacked in the face with an umbrella.
23. You’re afraid to step on subway vents because they blow up your skirt in the summer and could cause you to slip and face during rainy days.
22. A person’s apartment in proximity to your own could be a relationship deal breaker — at least if you’re a lazy asshole like me who doesn’t want to travel to West Harlem from the UES for dates. I suck, I know. Sorry.
21. Most restaurants won’t seat you until your entire party has arrived.
20. You’re afraid to fall asleep on the subway.
19. Cable is a luxury.
18. You love the constant exposure to different types of people.
17. One minute you have a glamorous job, the next you’re walking dogs and taking as many odd jobs as possible (THIS GUY!)
16. You can’t remember a time in which you weren’t totally exhausted.
15. You really wish the subway would just set up phone and/or Internet service already. DC did this ages ago. What happens if we’re stuck underground for hours on end? We’re going to end up like those freaks on “Hey Arnold!”

14. The 24-hour subway system is unbeatable, though, and puts mass transit systems elsewhere to shame.
13. You get a lot of visitors because everyone wants to come to New York. People you didn’t even know you were friends with will ask to sleep on your couch for days on end.
12. You really hate when people ask how much you pay in rent per month. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is really rude. Mind your business.
11. You worry about finding a roommate on Craigslist because a lot of people purposely overcharge for rooms.
10. The word “bedroom” takes on a whole new meaning when you actually move to a room that only fits your bed. I should know because I have a “Harry Potter room”!
9. You find yourself buying thin hangers to make the best of your small closet space situation.
8. Umbrellas have very, very short lives here.
7. Waving down a taxi can either take two seconds or an hour.
6. Taxi TV sets never fail to amaze you.
5. You love that all taxis here take credit cards.
4. You appreciate the plethora of ATM machines all over the city, even though they’re probably bugged by scam artists.
3. You go through at least three apartment and/or roommate horror stories before finally having a semi-stable living situation. I’m much happier at my current place than I ever was at my first NYC-area apartment and absolutely don’t take that for granted.
2. You see tons of big dogs in the city and wonder how they manage with such little space.
1. When things go wrong, you seriously consider moving elsewhere: somewhere cheaper, calmer, more peaceful, less rainy and dreary, less disgusting and dirty, less heartbreaking, but then you remember that there’s no other place like New York City.

-Jen Rinaldi contributed to this roundup.


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