Things no one will tell you you need before moving to NYC
No matter what brought you here— for college, an internship, or simply just for the experience, you will quickly realize that New York is nothing like you imagined. Shows like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City painted a fabulous picture of a city filled with success and glamour— but was effortless to get there. In reality, you’re gonna find that surviving the city is actually pretty hard.
But don’t let that stop you from following your dreams and heading over here. With the knowledge of a few tips and tricks, you’ll learn to smoothly navigate the concrete jungle.
First, you’re gonna need the right bag.
Nobody drives in New York, so you’re not going to have a car to keep all of your stuff in throughout the day. Instead, you’re gonna be lugging all of your stuff from the subway, to the street, and repeat. If you live in another borough, you might have to carry the same bag from the morning until your night out. That’s why you’ll need a bag with the best of both worlds: lots of room, but small enough to carry everywhere. It’s also best to get a bag with compartments, for optimal organization. Trying to dig through a tote bag for your Metrocard during rush hour is the ultimate nightmare. Trust me. Your bag should have a sturdy and reliable buckle or zipper. You don’t want to have things falling out of your bag while you’re running across the street.
Speaking of running…
You’re gonna need adequate footwear.
Now, I know we all grew up watching Carrie Bradshaw turn heads by strutting along the Upper East Side in a pair of Manolo Blahnik stilettos, but that’s just not realistic. Unless you have the money to take cabs everywhere, you’re going to be walking around a lot. And running down subway stairs. Sometimes, you’ll be jumping over puddles of death. While we all wish we could re-live the iconic moment where Rhianna walked across a grate in heels, you’re going to need a pair of comfy shoes you can move around in during the day. When you go out, stuff your heels in above-mentioned bag, or if you can stop home before, follow this wise girl’s tip:
During your daily strolls, opt for a pair of cool but comfy sneakers like Abbi or Illana. Or, pull a Bella Hadid and rock some Air Force Ones. (It definitely won’t be quiet for you.)
A pair of big sunglasses.
Once you get more familiar with the city, you’re gonna start building all kinds of relationships with people. But sometimes, those relationships can go bad real fast. New York can feel so much smaller than it actually is, because you can run into someone you don’t want to see, at any given moment. (Even in the places, neighborhoods, etc. you wouldn’t expect.) Because the streets are so crowded most of the time, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. That’s why you always need to be wearing big, dark sunglasses— an awkward run in is always a tad less awkward if you’re not making direct eye contact. Bonus, they make you look cooler than you actually are.
Cash. (and a lot of it.)
A lot of places in New York City only accept cash. Even if they do, they probably have an insane card minimum. And you’re probably not going to the bodega at 5 a.m. to spend $15. And reaching the minimum is not a good excuse to get an extra drink or shot at the bar. You’re definitely going to regret it. Yes, there are ATM’s everywhere but most will charge you about $2-$3 to take only $20 out. Not worth it. If you’re running low on cash, take a quick stop to your own bank’s ATM. (Tip: most Duane Reade’s have Chase ATM’s.)
A Metrocard. (With at least a fare’s worth on it at all times.)
As I mentioned earlier, digging through your bag to find a Metrocard in a buzzing subway station is just one of the worst things ever. But what’s even worse? Reading, “insufficient fare,” at the turnstile when you’re already five minutes late to work. The lines at all of the re-fill stations are ten heads deep, and seven old ladies are waiting in line at the guard’s station. In this very common morning rush hour situation, it could take about twenty minutes just to re-fill your card! So if you’re taking the subway every day, get a monthly unlimited. It’s a steep price of $121, but if you loose it, you’re eligible to replace the card with the money left over. If there’s one specific week you need to take the subway a lot, there’s also a weekly card for $32. But you can’t replace it if you loose it.
A good winter coat.
A faux fur, or secondhand fur coat will keep you the warmest in the bitter winter months. However, its obviously not a good decision if its raining or snowing outside. That’s why you might need two good winter coats.
Like a raincoat with a hood to keep you nice and dry.
Or maybe you should just ball out at your local Beacon’s closet and get three. A simple, yet chic, black peacoat is great for the days you don’t want to be extra.
Also, every coat you own should have pockets. Just in case you’re in a rush and need to sleep your phone or wallet somewhere. Just make sure to empty out your most valued items from your pockets before giving your coat to coat check, or taking it off for the night!
Congrats on the big move. Living in New York City is far from easy, but these items will make your transition a little bit smoother. As they say, if you can make it in New York, then you can make it anywhere.