I’m writing this as I down a salad New Yorker-style in my rented out apartment a few days before I fly back to Melbourne because a nice, healthy, fresh salad is the way to go in New York. It’s summer time and I have the AC blasting because again, that’s how New Yorkers do it. It’s pretty neat to be able to go from Melbourne to New York.
Despite the almost 24 hour flight from the southern hemisphere and the time zone difference that makes it terribly hard to connect with family and friends back home, it sort of feels like home. While in movies New York is glamourised and romanticised to be the city of dreams, there are various things that, both good and bad, test one’s ability to survive in a city that never sleeps, a city that moves at an unimaginable speed, and a city that pushes forth the dream that, here, “you can be anybody and do anything.”
- You’ll Start Exercising
New York is the city of yoga lovers – not in a bad way, it’s admirable that people even have the time to sit down and get flexible when the city itself moves at such an untraceable pace. Even if you don’t like exercise (and I mean the kind of exercise where you’ll see people heaving 2.5kg weights around while jogging through Central Park) you will find yourself walking around more to get from point A to B if the subway (or taxi!) is not necessary. New York has given me more exercise than I could ever ask for.
- You’ll Become Faster
Adding on to the first point, everything will become naturally faster to you. From eating to drinking to even walking – it all becomes a luxury in the city that never sleeps. You’ll learn within the first day walking around New York that people like to get to where they need to be real quick, even if that means pushing you out of the way to do so. You will gradually learn to walk so fast and so much while eating on the go that it actually becomes enjoyable and is great for the legs.
- It’s Literally a City That Never Sleeps
You thought it was an exaggeration? Hardly. You’ll be waking around exploring or running errands and before you know it, it’ll be 7pm and before you can even finishing stringing your sentence of ‘But I’m not done exploring yet,’ it’ll be 2am. But oh no, you won’t be able to sleep because in New York no one really sleeps, it’s all very light napping. If you thought New York was exciting during the day, it is most vibrant at night.
- Starbucks is Everywhere
It just becomes a part of you where one minute you’ll think ‘I could never succumb to this’ and then the next minute you’ll be walking straight into the nearest Starbucks you see and lining up. No need for further elaborating.
- You’ve Made It When You Work Out The Subway
It’s always hard at first because the subway map has too many lines, too many colours, too many letters, and just too much to handle – but when you finally overcome getting on the train going in the wrong direction for the nth time and learn to read the complex yet surprisingly easy subway map, you’ve made it. When you can swipe your Metrocard once without the machine beeping at you to ‘swipe again’, you’ve officially become a New Yorker.