I recently took a trip to New York, the day after my college graduation, to go on informational interviews for my future career and to get a general feel for the city.
I've wanted to live in New York since I was a kid, but that's a dream that many people have. The goal of my trip was to ensure that what I thought I liked about the city from an outsider's view would stay strong once I had an in-person meet-and-greet with New York. Before I left, and when people realized that I was serious about my move, advice and/or warnings came aplenty. Half of the people that spoke with me told me that they disliked a, b, and c about the city and that I should either stay in the Midwest or move to another type of city...anywhere but New York.
"It's crazy expensive."
"It never stops. Honestly, nothing slows down. You'll never relax."
"There is no green. You can't just go outside to relax in nature."
"It's really expensive. You're going to have to pay a lot for rent and groceries..."
"The people there are abrasive."
The other half that talked with me loved the city and each had an antidote or story for why they were fans of it.
"There is opportunity to do whatever you want. Literally. You can't get that here and rarely anywhere else."
"I was planning to move to New York, but then I met my husband and we stayed here. If you don't have a mortgage -- go!"
"The food. Holy hell, the food is amazing."
"You'll never be bored. Ever. If you're bored, you're one lazy ass."
So I went. And I enjoyed myself immensely. It wasn't a walk in the park, as I tried to solely navigate the subway while my on-the-fritz phone shut down Hopstop every chance it got and Google maps froze whilst I typed in addresses, but I made it to 12 meetings in five days and learned a lot from everyone with whom I spoke. The friends that I stayed with were amazing at hosting me, assisting me when I got lost and generally showing me around to everything amazing.
Though I was hurriedly bopping around, trying to get a feel for how long it would take me every day to get from point A to point B (Mapquest's suggested average time to my destination ((in minutes)) + the time I spent on getting - inevitably - lost ((in minutes, rarely hours)) = total transit time) there were a few things I HAD to do:
* Daphne Guinness exhibit at FIT
* Lady Gaga's Wonderland at Barney's
* Visit New York Public Library flagship
* Alice's Tea Cup on the UES
* Visit Tom's Restaurant
* Holiday window browsing at Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Tiffany's
* Get a Fire Department shirt from a station
* Visit MOMA
* Visit Natural History Museum
* Visit Met
* Visit Beacon's Closet
* Get a Laduree macaron
Only the underlined visits were accomplished, but the whole list will be underlined in a few months.
Regarding the library:
Technically, I was on the steps of the public library until I realized that I didn't have enough time (remember the aforementioned equation?) to browse and gape at the Gutenberg Bible and Picture Collection.
I so badly wanted to stay ensconced in the barely moving line, but I had to use the bathroom, and I thereby forewent my chance at tasting a heavenly coffee macaron.
*I still regret not having stayed in the line and chancing having my bladder explode. It would have been worth it, right? Right?
Regarding Tom's Restaurant:
I ran past it on the way to a meeting. I attempted to take a motion shot of the restaurant on my camera phone mid-sprint, but the ensuring photograph only captured a disgruntled garbage collector, not Tom's Restaurant at all.