Thought Catalog – Move here when you’re 18 or 22, maybe even 24. Come from somewhere else-the north, south, west, Xanadu- and come to realize that everyone living in New York is a transplant. Even the ones who grew up on the Upper East Side end up moving into a place downtown, which, as you’ll soon discover, is like moving to a different city.
Discover the cruel and bizarre world of New York City real estate. End up spending an obscene amount of money on something called a broker’s fee, first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. Cry a little bit in the leasing office but remind yourself that you’re so happy to be here.
Picture hearing a man playing the saxophone outside your bedroom window. End up hearing a lot of sirens instead. Figure it’s okay because it’s New York and you’re still so happy to be here.
Go out to bars in the Lower East Side because the Internet told you so. Fall in love with a bar called, Max Fish, and always stay out till four in the morning. Eat a falafel and have someone pay for a cab back to your apartment. Watch the sun start to rise while going over the Williamsburg Bridge and feel like your life is becoming some kind of movie.
Eat bad pizza but trick yourself into believing it’s good because it’s made in New York. Do the same thing with bagels and sex.
Meet people who will be your best friends for three or four months. They’ll help you transition into city life and take you to weird bars in Murray Hill. It will be like the blind leading the blind but once you get a firm grasp on things, you can stop returning their phone calls.
Watch your life in New York go through phases. Spend a summer in Fort Greene with a lover and get to know the neighborhood and its rhythms. Once the fling ends, forget the blocks, parks and restaurants ever existed and don’t return unless you have to.
Encounter a lot of people crying in public. Watch an NYU student cry in Think Coffee, a business woman in midtown sob into her cellphone, an old man whimper on a stoop in Greenpoint. At first, it will feel very jarring but, like everything else, it will become normal. Have your first public cry in front of a Bank of America. Cry so hard and don’t care if people are watching you. You pay good money to be able to cry in public.
Work long hours at a thankless job. Always be one step away from financial destitution. Marvel at how expensive New York is, how when you walk out the door, $20.00 immediately gets deleted from your wallet. Understand that even though no one has any money, everyone is privileged to live in New York City.
Go home for the holidays and run into old friends from high school. When you tell them that you live in New York, watch their eyes widen. They’ll say, “Oh my god, New York? That’s so crazy. I’m so jealous!” Have a blasé attitude about it but deep down inside, know they have good reason to be jealous.
Certain moments of living in the city will always stick out to you. Buying plums from a fruit vendor on 34th street and eating three of them on a long walk, the day you spent in bed with your best friend watching Tyra Banks, the amazing rooftop party you attended on a sweltering hot day in July. These memories might seem insignificant but they were all moments when you looked around the city and felt like you were a part of it all.
I know that was long but I tried to cut it down and there was so many douchey lines I just had to include it all. You know how you live in New York City? The same fucking way you live in any other city. You pick a neighborhood and pay rent and go out and get fucked up and try to have sex. Booze in New York gets you drunk the same way it does in Chicago or Los Angeles. Fucking a marginally attractive chick when your drunk feels exactly the same here as it does anywhere else. The shame when you wake up sober and see just how marginally attractive she was is identical here too.
Its just so overwhelmingly ironic that every time these “real New Yorker” things are written its by some overly dramatic clown shoe who thinks they’ve got it all figured out. Like this dude who wrote this is talking about buying fucking plums and eating them while you walk home. Watching Tyra Banks in bed. Watching old men fucking cry in public? What the fuck are you babbling about bro? Look here’s the bottom line: if when you tell people you’re from New York City you think that you’re impressive, you’re not a “real New Yorker.” You’re still basically a tourist who’s wowed by the bright lights and loud noises. If you’re walking over the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun rises and you think your life is a movie, you’re not a “New Yorker.” You’re an asshole. You’ve watched one too many movies. You think Sex And The City is real life. Newsflash you’re not special and you’re not different.
PS – I don’t even know what “real New Yorker” means. I’ve lived here a long time and I work here and get fucked here and root for teams from here. Does that make me a “real New Yorker?” I don’t know and absolutely don’t care.