Every healthy relationship requires compromise. Unfortunately for you, no one ever said your relationship with New York City was going to be “healthy.”
If you’re dedicated to the move, get ready to make some serious sacrifices. The 7 things you’ll stop taking for granted:
1. Central Air
Ever wonder how your entire suburban house stays comfortably “cool as a cucumber” during even the most blistering hot summer days? You can thank central air for that. And you can also bid it a sad farewell, as sightings of this mystical creature are even fewer and farther between in NYC than sightings of Bigfoot in Yellowstone National Park.
Amongst the many other things a person sacrifices to live in Manhattan (your soul included), good ol’ central air conditioning might be the hardest to let go of. Huddle up in front of your crap new window unit with a pint of ice cream while you dream about the good, (c)old days as “Somebody That I Used to Know” plays softly in the background. Maybe even invite some friends over so you can all sit perfectly still while trying to ignore how badly your shirts are sticking to your backs during a rousing game of “Is that Sweat or Tears?” (Look closely, the answer may surprise you.)
Inarguably, New York City has some of the best shopping in the world. Many a designer have established a flagship store either on 5th Avenue or down in Soho, and there are more boutiques scattered throughout the grid than there are stars in the sky* (citation needed).
That being said, without the suburban, climate controlled luxury of a mall, you must hunt down and travel to each individual store you want to visit, which can be located miles and miles apart. This is particularly enjoyable during the blistering hot summer and the freezing cold winter. Oh, and have fun lugging all your purchases home without…
3. Your car
There’s something special about cruising down the interstate by yourself late at night blasting 90’s music and singing or whale calling along, depending on your level of musical talent. Now that you live in Manhattan, you can pretty much FUHGEDDABOUD the idea that “getting there is half the fun,” or actually any fun at all. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about a half hour commute crammed onto the six train like a sardine, doing the accidental bump n’ grind with complete strangers (who, coincidentally, smell like sardines as well).
While suburban life may be, to put it gently, ‘boring as hell,’ there is something special about the sound of one hand clapping (aka silence) that you truly learn to appreciate after being woken up for the third time in a single night by blaring ambulance sirens and unruly adults
talking yelling to their friends. At first you may wonder to yourself, “It’s a goddamn Tuesday night, who the hell is still awake at 3 am?!” The answer to that being drunk people, of course. You’ll learn to cope. Probably by drinking.
There’s a reason Manhattan residents flock to the sad, small patches of grass and trees we’ve conceded as “parks.” Namely, it’s all we have. Go on, step outside your apartment and take a deep breath in through your nose and mouth. Smell that? Think less like ‘teen spirit’ and more like ‘wet copper and dead cat.’ That special aroma is hot garbage, a New York City trademark. And it unfortunately lingers over about 90% of sidewalks during the summer.
Parks can serve as a great (re: sad) escape from all this. In the concrete jungle, where backyards are a thing of the past, it’s easy to forget what grass even smells like, nonetheless feels like. The closest you’ll be getting to nature is a Saturday afternoon sharing a public lawn with screaming children and homeless people. It’s better than nothing… (?)
6. Reasonable Prices
Wanna hear a joke? YOUR RENT. HAHAHAHAHA. Sorry.
Might as well start calling your landlord Chris Angel because he can make your paycheck *disappear* right before your eyes. Where did it go?! It couldn’t be that hard to find — your bedroom is only 7×7 after all…
Truth is, for what you pay to live in even the tiniest closet of an apartment in Manhattan, you could pretty much rent a sizeable house anywhere else. And it’s not like you can catch a break in other aspects of your life when it comes to money. You’d be shocked at what a tab you can rack up at even the “diviest” of bars. Wait, HOW many zeros?! This time, there’s no doubt whether it’s sweat or tears streaming down your face. Go ahead, it’s okay to cry.
7. Your Sanity
Eight million people occupy New York City — that means that even if your parents have consistently reassured you that you’re one in a million, there’s still eight of you here. It’s straight up unnatural for that many people to be living on an island this size, but some jerk had to invent the skyscraper to make it all possible. THANKS. This population density alone can turn a relatively tranquil person into a ticking time bomb.
Picture yourself walking down 34th street. The sidewalk is HUGE, but for some reason you can absolutely not find a hole in the sea of slow walking people in front of you to pass through. You try to dodge left, but there’s a leisurely strolling couple holding hands. You try to fake right, but there’s a woman with fifty shopping bags moving at a snails pace. You want to walk faster but there’s NOWHERE TO TURN. OH GOD THE HORROR GET ME OUT OF HERE — *ahem* sorry about that.
Bottom line is this: any successful relationship requires some sacrifices to be made. It may seem like a one sided deal, but remember all the good Manhattan is doing for you in return. The roads may not be paved with literal gold, but they’re certainly studded with unparalleled opportunities. These streets will break you down harder than you’ve ever been broken down before, then raise you up higher than you’ve ever been, all in the span of 24 hours. But much like the roller coaster it is, the downs are worth weathering for the ups. And at the time you constantly swear you’re done with New York City, you know deep in your heart it’s something that, once you’ve tried, you can never truly give up.
Welcome to New York City.