7 Things I Learned During My First Year Living in New York City

I'm a New York girl. I was born and raised on Long Island, a short distance away from Manhattan. But when I moved to the city last September, it was nothing like the place I had grown up knowing my entire life. It suddenly became this big and intimidating adult playground with infinite possibilities. Here's what my first year living in NYC has taught me, so far.

1. Independence is key

I'm already somewhat of a doer, but living in the city has instilled in me an entirely new level of independence. It's actually so empowering to be a working woman on the go in New York, like nothing and no one can stop you.

2. The food is amazing

Having an appetite in NYC is a wonderful thing. It can be seven in the morning or nine at night and there's always a joint open serving everything from pizza to Indian food. It's such a cultural melting pot and that's truly reflected in the myriad of cuisines here.

3. There's always something to do

Even if you'd consider yourself an introvert, there's an endless amount of things to do. On sunny days, I love sitting in Madison Square Park watching people dig into their Shake Shack boxes, and on snowy days, I enjoy strolling through Chelsea Market. Evenings consist of grabbing dinner with friends or catching a Broadway show with my parents, and the list goes on.

4. You can get around by walking

Sure, the subway system is great for traveling uptown and downtown, but I've learned that I prefer to walk. The stereotype about packed train cars is completely true, so I always carry a pair of comfy sneakers just in case I decide to go on an adventure.

5. Tourists stick out like sore thumbs

There's a clear difference between a local and a tourist. After living in New York, few things phase you. But tourists seem to look totally wonderstruck and, for lack of a better word, overwhelmed. However, it's cool to see out-of-towners marvel at the excitement the city has to offer.

6. My pace has gotten faster

All of a sudden, people who walk slow drive me nuts. I find myself moving at a rather speedy pace no matter where I'm going, even if there's no sense of urgency. But this is a common thread among New Yorkers — we have places to go and people to see!

7. It's the greatest city in the world

There's a reason some of the world's greatest icons like Billy Joel, Jay Z, and Frank Sinatra have written songs praising Manhattan. It is without a doubt the greatest city in the world, and I feel beyond fortunate that I get to call this awe-inspiring concrete jungle home.

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