I just found out a friend of mine from California will be doing a program to get certified in teaching English in New York and I became insanely jealous. Why? Because as of late I have been really missing that city and the six months I spent living there. Not that I am not having the time of my life living in Malmö right now, it’s just that I get sentimental. I know in the scheme of things six months isn’t really a long time, especially for New York, but it was more the manner in which it all happened that intensified the experience.
It was only supposed to be a six day trip (six day trip), but by the third I had randomly fallen into a job as a waitress making more than I had ever before at bar that shall remain nameless for now (I promise it was nothing shady, just don’t think it deserves any publicity whatsoever). Thankfully I had good friends who let me crash on their couches until I found a place to live and within one month I had a permanent address in Chinatown/Lower East Side.
It was totally spontaneous but I’ve come to the realization that sometimes that is the best way to go when it comes to major life decisions. The more you over-think, the more likely your idea will be doomed.
But let’s discuss what I miss about living in New York…
The writing scene
Although it’s only been about nine months since I started getting hot and heavy with blogging, the truth is that I have been an aspiring travel writer since 2008. It all began exactly around the time that I moved to New York and if you think that is a coincidence, think again. It is a writing city.
Never have I been so inspired to write as when seated in a Lower East Side café. If you told me Earth Matters had some kind of creativity dust pumping out of their vents on a daily basis, I would believe you. I spent so much time at that little hipster haven – partially because we didn’t have internet, but mostly for its superchill atmosphere and awesome smoothies. It was there where my fingers first started typing about travel, so it will always have a special place in my heart.
“Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book -and does” – Groucho Marx
Going from A to B
New York is a fast-paced place. Overwhelming at times, yes. For the most part though, I found it all to be extremely exciting. So much going on ALL THE TIME. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I moved there from LA where going from Point A to B was a solitary activity. You get in your car, you sit in traffic, you get out of your car – all with little to no interaction. In New York, you simply cannot avoid interaction when going from Point A to B. I loved it. The people watching was incredible and it always amazed me how often I would run into someone I knew at some random intersection uptown in a city of 8 million. If only I had an iPhone while I was living there…
I think it is common knowledge that New York is one of the best places in the world to eat. You can find millions of places there that have “the best” whatever you want and there are still a few spots that upon hearing their name, my taste buds cry.
Barrio Chino: It’s really hard to impress me with your Mexican food, but Barrio Chino did that AND MORE. Great food and even greater drinks. What I would give for one of their jalapeno margaritas right now…
Artichoke: Best.Pizza.Ever. Thank god I didn’t live in closer proximity to this place or else you would have had to roll me on the plane to go back to LA. Their slices of artichoke pizza were simply amazing but the problem was I always found myself eating them sometime between 1-4am. Not a good idea. #thatsgonnamakeyoufat
Les Halles: this place is less famous for its food than it is for its ties to Anthony Bourdain – and now me. Yours truly did some coat-checking there for a short period which totally sucked, but being able to eat their escargot everyday did not. I’m no snail specialist, but I will say I haven’t had any as good as the ones they serve there since (not even in Paris).
Any place that serves brunch: NYC has set the bar so high for brunch in my mind that I simply won’t do them anywhere else except in the privacy of my own home. The atmosphere, the creative menus, the unlimited supply of mimosas and Bloody Marys (Essex comes to mind)…it’s just not the same so why even subject myself to disappointment?
The company that I kept
Insanely creative, incredibly determined, positively crazy people gravitate towards New York.
Writers, producers, musicians, models, stylists, DJs, fashion designers – they were all around me all the time and it was FUN. Some were successful, some were struggling. All were inspiring.
If networking and socializing is your thing, New York is definitely the place to go. There is always something going on and someone interesting to meet (like really interesting, not fake interesting). The important connections that I made, both personal and professional, within one month of being there, I couldn’t do in almost a year living in LA.
And it didn’t end when I moved. Trust me, there are bonds to be made elsewhere once it surfaces that you have also survived lived in New York.
Living in an icon
One of the biggest things I miss about living in New York is simply being able to say “I live in New York”. It is one of the most famous cities on the planet, almost like dating a celebrity. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t feel cool living there even though I wasn’t.
If I was having a bad day, seriously all I had to do was look around. Yellow cabs, steamy manhole covers, Central Park, Wall Street, Broadway, Times Square, Grand Central Station. All the clichés that comes to mind when one thinks of New York, I appreciated them all. Do you know how many people in the world would give anything to be surrounded by those sights, even for just 5 minutes? Everyone wants to go to New York.
(The view from my old rooftop)
New York is one of the greatest (some might argue the greatest) cities in the world so no matter how ready I was to leave in the end, I always felt and still feel privileged to have lived there for the short amount of time that I did. Not sure that I would do it again simply because I’ve grown to love other places more, but it will definitely be a place I always go back to when the opportunity presents itself (read: cheap airfares to New York from Europe or extra long layovers on the way to/from Los Angeles).