Welcome to The Jungle
Six months ago, sitting in my Grandma’s kitchen I sporadically decided I was going to move to New York. No set plans, no job, no home, but I was doing it, and no one was gonna stop me! I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but anything seemed better than staying in Tucson. I packed two bags, said some goodbyes and traveled 2,000somethin miles to NYC.
The plan was to live in The City for six months then move to Paris for graduate school. The City has this way of taking everything you ever planned and completely switching it up. & That’s exactly what happened. As the year winds up I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned living here for the past six months.
1. Dominican Ice=life. I’m addicted. For $1 a pop that creamy dream will save your life in the humid summer.
2. Speaking of summer, no lotion! I repeat do not wear lotion in the summer! I made the mistake of moisturizing myself like most Arizonians do and by the time I got to my destination I was dripping.
3. Rats. Rats are like that roommate you don’t really get along with but because its cuts your cost you continue to put up with them. (There’s one street in China town that has so many rats I refuse to walk on the side walk—they dart from underneath cars—and instead walk in the road. REBEL).
4. Radiators will be found in every apartment and if you want AC gotta get yourself a window unit. They’re ugly and unavoidable.
5. Fall is the best season, ask anyone who lives here.
6. Your fitness studio loyalty is REAL. The fitness industry is no joke. Don’t get caught up in the main studio/side studio drama.
7. You’ll have a minimum of two jobs: your “quick money” job and your career.
8. Sample sales are every fashionista’s/fashinisto’s BFF, especially if you're on a budget.
9. Headphones=lifesavers. I dare you to walk outside your house without them. You’ll fall victim to countless catcalls and crazies on the subway.
10. When traveling on the subway for more that 15 minutes carry a book.
11. How to read a map. I’m pretty sure I never read a map until I moved. Unlike other cities, these maps actually make sense. When traveling North the numbers will get larger and vice versa when traveling South. Avenues are numeric and get larger the further West you travel. Now Brooklyn, that’s a completely different story.
12. Buses are a main mode of transportation. Back home buses have a stigma around them and you wouldn’t have caught me dead on one. Here, everyone rides a bus. Who knew they had cross town buses?!
13. A sweater is a form of shirt out here. Think of the chunky sweaters. Yeah. Bet you didn’t know that.
14. The terms jacket and coat are not interchangeable. A jacket is typically lighter and worn in fall and a coat is what you need to survive The Vortex.
15. Packable downs and heat-tech are quiet possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
16. Sneaker boots. My beloved sneaker boots. I used to think they were the most hideous shoes on earth, but I have come to love them. Forsure an East Coast thing, and if you’re trying to accomplish being cute and comfortable this is the route to go.
17. Choose the correct cart on the train. Where you sit: front, middle, back, will determine which exit you get out on which basically means the difference between getting to your destination in one minute as opposed to five. When it’s cold it makes all the difference.
18. No one really knows what they’re doing. This is something I’ve learned and am still trying to accept. Yes there are people who have their life planned to a T, but reality is most of us don’t. We’re just hustling and trying everything.
19. Comparing yourself to all the successful people in your circle, in your building, and up the street will drive you insane. Trust your journey.
20. You'll find yourself feeling bi-polar: one minute you can conquer the world, the next you're questioning life, but you're in best city where anything and everything can & will happen!
ps. this is for you Jernei! I'll try to write more. love you.