New Yorkers are a diverse bunch, but they all have one thing in common – they’re able to live in New York City. Sound silly? Sure – until you realize that NYC isn’t necessarily for everyone. It takes a unique set of traits to survive and thrive in the Big Apple. Worried that you’ll move here and learn too late that the city isn’t for you? Never fear – here’s what it takes to live in NYC.
You’ll need to….
You don’t have to be an extrovert, as many of us New Yorkers aren’t, but you should be nice to people. If you’re not, most day-to-day interactions will be uncomfortable; for example, you’ll have trouble finding the perfect neighborhood spot to frequent. New Yorkers are consistently surrounded by other people, so smiling at your local barista or asking your super how he’s doing will go a long way.
Oh, your usual subway line is down? Best think quickly if you plan on getting to work on time. With all that’s going on in the city, plans can change in an instant – so be ready to adapt to whatever’s thrown at you next. Not to imply that you should adapt to only negative circumstances– you’d be surprised at how often an unexpected invite to an exclusive event finds its way to you, and you’ll be glad to rearrange your schedule.
Whether it’s trudging through a slush puddle or finding new ways to beat the heat, New Yorkers can survive almost any situation. Toughness helps you live in New York for the long-term, but you need to consistently pursue ways to make that happen. As they say – when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and that especially holds true in Gotham.
If you’re not willing to try new things and explore new places on a consistent basis, New York City is not for you. There are many amazing opportunities here, but it’s up to you to seek them out and participate. New cuisines, new hobbies, new neighborhoods – NYC experiences are endless, with more and more being created every day. (Fortunately, the close proximity of everything in NYC makes it easy to go on an adventure.)
Have a sense of humor
NYC is an amazing city, but also, weird and strange things happen here every day. Learn to laugh at the small stuff and you’ll do just fine.
Yes, there are millions of people who live in New York City, but you can’t be afraid of being on your own here. If you are – you’ll hold yourself back from all kinds of experiences and stunt your own personal growth. Yes, sometimes being independent in New York can be scary, but by following your passions and interests (not those of people you know) you’ll become your best self.
Have the ability to tell it like it is.
Because sometimes, you need to be able to say that your BFF shouldn’t dye her hair green; that your landlord is asking too much for that apartment; and, that this really is the greatest city in the world.
Photos in this post by Eric Barao.