Today marks my one month anniversary of living in New York. How time has gone that fast, I do not know. But I’m guessing that’s exactly how the next 11 months will also go, so I need to get my traveling finger out and start planning some trips around the US. Which will mean a lot less trips to Shannon’s in Hoboken on the weekend (picture Shannon’s as my new Lanigans or the Burn in Lurgan).
I think I’ve done quite a lot in the past four weeks, but at the same time, not as much as I’ve wanted to tourist-wise. However, I have an entire year to go to the top of the Rock, see a show on Broadway and shop on 5th Avenue.
I may be only four weeks in to living in New York but I can’t help but feel right at home already. I’ve been thinking of every way possible to extend/get another visa or just somehow get a green card. @ Donald Trump please don’t deport me.
There’s just something so, so different about New York compared to London. I can’t put my finger on it but there’s just something so much better. It really, really helps that I’m on this program and have met around 80 new people who are all here to work and explore the city and States as I’m never stuck for anything to do on weekends or weeknights.
What have I been up to?
Over the past four weeks I’ve seen a show off-Broadway, been to Coney Island, been to the Yankee Stadium to watch the New York Jets, watched a Gaelic match at Gaelic Park in the Bronx, finally found somewhere close to my apartment for avocado brunch, had wine on an apartment block rooftop in the Upper East Side, watched many sunsets, been to a lot of dive bars, a lot of happy hours and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.
At the minute, it really seems that I’m living for the weekends which I hate. Every day counts down to Friday but I need to start doing things during the week to keep myself in New York mode. I’ve tried a few comedy nights, but so far haven’t experienced any top comedians. I’ve been reading Pulsd, Skint and Time Out NY daily for the past four weeks trying not to miss anything exciting happening.
I have a lot of plans for this year ahead and made a lot of lists before I moved out here, but I really need to actually start making my way through those lists and start exploring New York and the surrounding states. I want to hit up Boston, Philly, Connecticut and maybe Chicago before the end of this year.
I also want to see an NFL game or even a college football game, an NBA game and maybe some ice hockey. I’ve just heard about a hurling double-bill in Citi Stadium in November which sounds like a nice Irish day out. I bought a ticket to see Dermot Kennedy next year in March which I am beyond excited about as I’ve only been waiting two years to see him live.
So many plans, so little time. If anyone knows how to somehow get a visa to stay here for another year (or forever), please do let me know 🙂
The thing about New York
It’s hella expensive. I saw a pack of Fruit Pastilles in a shop yesterday for $15. ShopRite, which is meant to be a cheaper shop than the likes of Target, were charging $11 for a small bar of Dairy Milk. Things like Dry Shampoo also cost $16 a bottle. You breathe in New York and you’ve just spent 20 bucks.
It’s busy, but actually not too bad. I assumed New York was going to be like Oxford Street but 100x worse. Turns out, it’s not really that bad. I mean, if you’re walking through Times Square or down Broadway during peak times, then yes, obviously it will be busy, but I honestly haven’t found it to be that bad. One thing I’ve noticed is that the sidewalks are a lot wider, so that might help the problem.
It’s smelly. The streets, the Subway, the sweaty person you’re pressed up against on the 8.40am Path train, all of it. I thought I had seen my fair share of rats in London and Liverpool, but New York has already taken the lead. They don’t bother me much though. But yeah, the Subway smells and you just gotta get used to it.
If you’re not a dog person, don’t bother visiting. There are dogs everywhere. In prams, in handbags, in bars, in restaurants, in Starbucks, in any of the 1000 dog parks over the city, you name it. I feel a little out of place by not owning a dog.
Cash is king in New York. It feels very behind the times since I never carried cash when I lived in the UK, but here it seems that everyone deals in cash and you must have cash to tip just about everyone. Someone sold me a ticket at an event over the weekend and even they asked for a tip. Those that work in the service industry get taxed an extra 15% because it’s assumed they will make a lot in tips, so be kind to the bar people and waiters and tip.
That’s just a small selection of the things that I’ve noticed about New York so far. I’ll keep an updated list and get back to it each month.
Where I’m living
I’ll be writing a more detailed post about my living situation, but I think if I was to come back to New York or actually be able to extend my stay, that I would live in the Newport/Hoboken areas of New Jersey. I’m currently living in Newport and it’s so, so safe and also has the best view of the entire Manhattan skyline without paying the New York taxes.
There’s also the Path train stations right by us which take you straight into Manhattan (my lovely seven minute commute to work), nice bars, restaurants etc. Hoboken looks like a film set you would visit in Disneyland; that old, rustic, small-town America vibe.
It’s been four weeks and I’ve been to the gym all of one times and am yet to sign up for one either. But I did beat my record for steps and walked 30,000 a few weeks back… but that hasn’t happened again since so I may need to get that gym membership after all.
So while I’ve ticked off a few things from the New York Bucket List, I haven’t got through that much of it so far. BUT, it’s only been four weeks and there are still 48 to go. I also definitely need to up my Insta-game with the pictures. But after buying the iPhone XR, my camera quality is about the equivalent of an iPhone 4.