10 Lessons You Only Learn if You Live in New York City


1. Invest in good headphones

No where else will you pick up the terrible habit of sticking headphones in your ears every chance you get like you do in New York City. I’m completely guilty of this. Leave the house, put on headphones, get on the train, put on headphones, grocery shop, put on headphones. My theory is that there’s already so much noise in the city that in order to feel like you’re in a quiet place you blast music in your ears… Or it could be the subconscious realization that you’re so puny in a massive city like New York, that we drown it out with music… deep. Either way, make sure you invest in some good ones because you might feel naked without them.

2. When you hear “it’s showtime” duck

When I first moved to New York five years ago, I was all excited about subway car performances. That was until I almost got drop kicked in da face by the overly flexible men hanging themselves from the poles of the A train in the middle of my morning commute to work. It’s part of the city culture to constantly have dance and music in your face, but not literally. You may think you’re just minding your own business on the train, when suddenly homie boo boo falls in your lap. Protect yourself and duck when you hear those words or see a boom box from your periph.

3. Puddles that look shallow are actually super deep

Winter, ya nasty. Nowhere else have I seen such deceiving pools of water on sidewalks. Really and truly, slushy puddles give you the impression that they’re one inch deep when in reality you need high waters and rubber boots to make it through without getting soaked. It’s almost as deceiving as that cute date you were excited to go on but turned out busted because you found out the fool was married (either to a real person or to his job) within the first hour; another NYC lesson we’ll touch on later.

4. You can become best friends with a stranger in an instant because of your mutual MTA frustration

I was waiting for the N train one night in Times Square to pay a visit my special friend who lives in Astoria, and I couldn’t help but start fuming at the ears. Why is it 12AM and four Q trains have passed but still no N after 30 minutes. To add to my frustration of not being able to get on the train, I was hangry and was tired of people all up in my face all day long (that happens when you live in a city where you really have to try to be alone). The N finally approaches the platform and all I see is a herd of angry Queens dwellers cramming in front of each other to get a seat or at least a decent place to stand in the train. I lodge myself in between the masses and under one man’s armpit and another woman’s purse, I found myself directly next to this 20something girl. She looked at me with a blank stare, pulled out a piece of paper and started drawing something. She turns to me and says in the most monotone voice “this train ride sucks. wanna play tic tac toe?” So just like that we played three old-maid games between Queensborough Plaza until I had to get off on 36 Ave. There was no exchange of information, it was just understand that it was one of “those NYC moments.” It almost comes close to being as funny and random as that time a foreign man scribbled on his notebook “No English, Wally. Think your beautiful.” in chicken scratch handwriting.

5. If you’re an entrepreneur, you pay for your office space in cups of coffee

I’m damn glad that Damon and I found a stable office place to work because I couldn’t help but hate myself when I looked at my bank statements. How did $3 coffees amount to like $400 at the end of the month? For that, we should’ve paid for an extra apartment to work out of. Very few coffee shops are no just coffee shops, they’ve been inhabited by creatures of the entrepreneurship world. No plugs, no wifi, no service.

6. Partying in Manhattan is like going to a watering hole filled with beautiful single people who suffer from selective amnesia the next day

This one’s pretty self explanatory. Don’t go to a Manhattan club or lounge and expect to leave with life long friends. Shoot, don’t even expect to leave remembering the person’s name who you chatted up for half the time. NYC nightlife has this werewolf vibe; whatever happens at night is quickly concealed with suits and pencil skirts the next day.

7. TVs? Who has those?


If you’re a city dweller, you’re most likely contributing to the ridiculous irony of paying way too much for rent to purposely never be home. If you are home, the only way to justify it is by turning on your tv computer and indulging in that Netflix life. Plus, you probably couldn’t fit a TV in your shoebox of a studio if you tried.

8. Boozy brunch is the only thing people want to think about on weekends

If you don’t have this article pinned to your bookmarks, you’re doing something wrong. Nothing reminds you of why you put up with all the BS of city life like a good boozy brunch. My personal favorite? Anything with bottomless Mimosas.

9. Don’t think you need a beach to get a tan in your bikini

Another one of those lessons I learned quickly is that instead of going to beaches or lakes, people of the city tend to lay out in their bikinis anywhere grass is. This includes the obvious Central Park, the Highline, Brooklyn Bridge Park, but you can’t forget the sides of highways, and even turf grass on the Elevated Acre. Do yourself a favor and have your blanky ready for those tanning/picnic sessions.

10. If you go on a nice date, and you never hear from the person again, don’t take it personally, they’re just “New York busy”

I was sitting in line at a Starbucks one day ordering my yoush, an iced doppio with two pumps of mocha in a grande cup, simple, when I overheard the conversation of the two 9-5ers next to me. “Man, what happened to that cute chick you mentioned you really liked? How are things going with her?” The other guy turns and says “awe, you know bro, I just got busy and forgot to reach back out, such a shame, she was promising.” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. New York is probably one of the only places where people purposely keep themselves from love to be able to fully indulge in the craziness the city has to offer.

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