1-Air conditioning is essential.
New York City in the summer reminds me of an average college freshman’s first time to the bar—a hot, sweaty, disastrous mess. Straight hair is a joke and there is as little clothing as possible. Before I moved into my apartment, I knew that the first big purchase I had to make (besides my bed, which by the way was expensive as ALL HELL) was an air conditioner. It’s a God-send during months like these. Of course, leaving it off all day will leave you with a 100%, money-backed guarantee that your apartment will feel like a sauna, but give it an hour to kick in. What 20something can afford to have central air anyways? My point exactly.
2-Honking horns means one of two things: 1) Someone’s driving like an idiot or 2) Someone’s hollering at a girl on the sidewalk.
As opposed to my upstate hometown, where honking your horn is equivalent to spitting in someone’s eye on the rude-o-meter, everyone honks in NYC. No turn signal? HONK. The color of your car is sinful? HONK. No one likes your guido sticker? HONK. So when I hear a honk as I’m walking down the street, I expect to see one of two things when I look up: an obnoxious driver OR, the second reason for horn-honking, a skeezy creepman. A skeezy creepman will lock eyes with you and maintain his gaze until he is no longer in viewing distance or smashes into a fire hydrant. Pair it with a “yo mami,” and you can officially call yourself a New Yorker.
3-Carrying groceries up the stairs never gets to be less of a bitch.
For those of you who have been blessed with an elevator in your building, I envy you. I envy you when I’m clobbering down my steps in wedges at 8:30 in the morning. I envy you when I return from a strenuous workout only to realize I’m not done with my cardio. But I envy you most when I’m carrying nine bags of groceries to my third-floor apartment, praying that they don’t slip off my wrist or explode into a pile below me, and mustering all of the energy I have left to make it to the finish line (the front door) without passing out. And to my family and friends who ask me how in the hell I do it every day; no, it isn’t fun; and yes, my ass will look great in a few months.
4-Bring a book and snacks when you do your laundry.
Maybe it’s just my Laundromat, but despite the day or time that I actually decide to get up off my ass and wash my clothes, there is always a telenovela on. Not only is this discriminatory (not everyone speaks Spanish), but it’s annoying. I can’t take a soap opera seriously anymore (I was a General Hospital girl back in my hayday), so what makes anyone think a telenovela is gonna do the trick? Any takers? Didn’t think so. Word to the wise—bring something to entertain yourself with or you’ll be forced to watch your underwear spin in the rinse cycle for 28 minutes. The choice is yours.
5-Barring the MTA invests in clocks that work properly, always leave early.
Last week, I was early to work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. A charming thought occurred to me: “Hey Kristina, why don’t you sleep in a little longer and leave a little later so you’re not a half hour early tomorrow.” It sounded fantastic; and it was, until the MTA got in my way. The MTA schedule is like a late-night infomercial—you just don’t trust them, period. Forget how early you were yesterday. Forget that the R train is supposed to come every 10 minutes. Banish these thoughts for good…because the MTA is out to get you when you’re least expecting it.
6-Bring deodorant with you everywhere you go.
Let’s face it—it’s the summer, it’s hot, and we’re bound to get a little sweaty. We’re all human, people, so don’t condemn your soul for needing an extra layer every now and again. The alternative is being one of the smellies on the train. Never be one of the smellies on the train.
7-A Wednesday night margarita can easily blossom into a Thursday morning hangover. Proceed with caution.
I got two words for you: Happy Hour. It sounds innocent enough. You had a long week. You go to Happy Hour. What’s wrong with having a few watered-down, moderately-priced drinks with the girls? Sure, it starts out that way. But before you know it you’re up until 3AM, whipping your hair around a sports bar in a drunken attempt to mimic Beyonce (you will never look as good as she does while performing that move), ignoring that little voice in your head that is demanding you to home because you have to be up for work in four hours. Sound familiar? I know. Twice? Me too.
8-Cooking for yourself really does save you a ton of money.
Living in the city affords you the opportunity to have any kind of food you want, any time you want it. It’s both a blessing and a curse, to your stomach and your wallet. Ordering Thai and stopping by Just Salad on your way home from work every other night is expensive shiz (unless you’re rich, in which case you probably can’t relate to anything I’ve written about thus far, minus #7). Instead of eating that crap every night, drop 50 bucks and buy groceries. Your bank account won’t be as frightening, you’ll feel more accomplished for learning how to cook, and your parents won’t think you’re lazy. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
9-Home is just a phone call away.
For those of you who read my blog about moving out, it’s obvious that I took it pretty rough at first. I’ve always been close with my family, so taking that step was a huge deal for me, and for them. As the days passed, I grew more at ease with the distance between my new home and my old one. I realized that it’s all a part of growing up and living your life. Your mom will still call you nagging about going over your minutes on the phone bill, and you’ll still obsess over Pretty Little Liars with your 11-year-old sister. Remember: you’re not alone just because you’re on your own. Family will always be a 10-digit call away. Always.
10-Living in NYC is friggen’ awesome.
Bless this city. Bless the genius who invented underground transportation. Bless the skyscrapers. Bless the serenity of Central Park. Bless the stumbling crazies on Madison Avenue. Bless the tourists who can’t take enough pictures in Times Square. Bless the celebrity sightings in Soho. Bless the ball that drops every year. Bless Gay Pride. Bless the Starbucks employees and food carts. Bless late-night everything. Bless the colors, the textures, the heights. Bless it all.