Fast forward to present day and NYC feels more like home than Arizona ever did. The longer that we stay here, the harder it is to imagine living anywhere else. There’s something about walking out your door and knowing that the entire city is basically your backyard. Even though the city will run your funds dry, New York has afforded me so many incredible opportunities – best in class food and drinks, incredible friends, and two amazing careers … just to name a few. To celebrate living in NYC for half a decade, I thought I’d share so my favorite memories, experiences and insights of my home sweet home.
What I Love About Living in NYC: Never Being Bored
If there’s one thing I can guarantee about living in New York, it’s that you’ll never run out of things to do or places to eat and drink. When people ask me what my favorite restaurant in the city is, I struggle to give an answer because we rarely go to the same restaurant twice. We living in walking distant of the East Village, which is where we spend most of our time on weekends, but I there’s just so much more to explore. Brooklyn and Astoria are on my list of places to really get to know.
What I Hate About Living in NYC: Being Far Away from Family & Friends
There’s a lot to hate about NYC (lack of space, cost of living, a variety of rodents), but this one’s the hardest to deal with. As much as New York feels like home, it’s not easy being on the other side of the country from friends and family. I went from seeing them every day to a handful of times a year – if I’m lucky. It’s one of my goals to be better at maintaining long-distance friendships.
Favorite Spot in NYC: Flatiron
I might be a little biased, but Flatiron is one of my favorite neighborhoods. You’ve got the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, all the Italian food imports that you could ever need at Eataly and plenty of shopping options on Fifth Avenue. My favorite spot is the public sitting area on Broadway, between 23rd and 25th Streets. From this vantage point, you can see the Flatiron building to the south, and the Empire State Building and the buzzing glow of Times Square to the north.
Favorite Hidden Gem: Conservatory Gardens
I kind of debated whether I should even share this hidden gem, because I love going up there to shoot outfit photos or see rows of cherry blossoms without to battle crazy crowds. It’s a small oasis tucked into the northeast corner of Central Park. Here, you’ll find rows and rows of the brightest blooms, artists quietly capturing the landscape on canvas and on occasion, an intimate wedding complete with their very own string quartet (true story).
Least Favorite Spot in NYC: Times Square
Okay yes, everyone should see Times Square lit up at night at least once in their lives. But let it be known — Times Square is nothing like the rest of New York. It’s full of big name chains and ridiculous peddlers like the Naked Cowboy. My last job was headquartered right at the bottom of Times Square and every day I would see Elmos, Minions and Hello Kitty’s with their heads off, smoking a cigarette or taking a phone call. It was terrifying sight that I hope you never have to see.
First Place I Ever Ate in NYC: Nicoletta
I will never forget my first night in New York – five years ago today. I dropped off my luggage at my new subletted apartment and met up with two college friends. We walked aimlessly down Second Avenue until we found a cute little pizza place in the East Village. When James moved to NYC, I brought him there. I introduce my friends to the little corner spot whenever they have a hankering for pizza. Now, every year around my New York anniversary, James and I visit Nicoletta as a little tradition. (Fun fact: his first meal was Thai food delivered, so that’s what we get around his anniversary in January).
The One Thing on My NYC Bucket List: Be in the Audience of Saturday Night Live
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot on my to-do list in terms of eating, drinking and exploring my way through New York. But there’s only one major thing on my bucket list that seems nearly impossible to achieve: going to a filming of Saturday Night Live and watching it live – literally! I grew up on SNL, during the days of Will Ferrell. Cheri O’Terri, Molly Shannon, Tim Meadows and the like. It’s still a weekend ritual for James and I to watch whenever we stay in for the night (which is more often than not these days!). The only way to get tickets is to enter a lottery every August and hope they pick your name. Fingers crossed this year is the year!
Cheers to five years in New York City – I can’t wait to see what adventures await! If you have any questions about living or visiting NYC, let me know in the comments section below (or fill out this quick survey). It’ll help me come up with content just for you!