This month marks my one year anniversary of living in New York. I can’t believe I’ve been here for an entire year! I never (ever) thought I’d be living in New York City, but now that I’m here, it feels like I’m exactly where I should be. As I sit here and reminisce on the last year of my life, looking around my apartment I know one thing for sure:
I really feel it. I don’t know what the future holds or how long I’ll be here, but I’m thankful for the new life I’ve built here. There will always be pros and cons to every place you live, but I’ve made a huge effort over the last 12 months to make this place feel like home. I’ve put time and effort into building a comfortable hideout in the city, I’ve put myself out there and invested in all kinds of new friendships, I’ve continued to work hard to build my career while balancing it out with a fulfilling personal life, and I’ve deepened my relationship and bond with my love now that we’re finally in the same city! I feel so content…who would’ve thought moving to crazy New York City would bring so much peace and balance into my life?!
Despite it’s reputation for being a tough place to live, New York City is one of the most iconic cities in the world where so many people dream of moving. Although it’s one of the most densely populated major cities, there’s a never ending list of reasons for why it captures so many hearts. Now that a year has passed, I can say that moving here has truly helped me grow both personally and professionally in so many ways.
Here’s my list of pros and cons on living in New York…
- It’s made me more independent.
There’s something going on in the city almost every day of the week, so I quickly learned that if you don’t have a plus 1 or your friends can’t come, you learn to do things completely on your own. Free events, concerts, grand openings, launch parties, you name it. It takes a different kind of confidence to be able to walk into a room where you know no one and meet new people! New York is forcing all of my introvert-ness out of me and introducing me to so many awesome new people.
- It’s made me more self sufficient.
Piggy backing off of my first pro – when you live here, you learn to just ‘figure it out’. Lost? Figure it out. Late for something and your subway is delayed? Figure it out. 5 bags of groceries but a 10 block walk home? Figure it out. 4 seasons of clothing but share 1 closet with your roommate? Figure it out. It’s raining, you can’t get an Uber, and forgot to bring flats to work? Figure it out.
- There is zero judgment.
Literally, ANYTHING goes. Everyone here is hustling and trying to make it – it’s a sea full of go-getters and creatives. There’s a mutual respect here for people trying to make things happen! Also, there’s so much craziness/weirdness going on here at all times that no one bats an eye at it. Man dressed as a clown performing Michael Jackson in the subway? Lady sitting in the park covered from head to toe in pigeons? Mariachi band playing on the subway next to you? 🤷
- There are endless restaurant options.
One of my favorite things about living here is all the cool restaurants. Conner and I LOVE going out to dinner and trying new places in all the different neighborhoods. There are so many hidden gems and new spots constantly popping up. New York nails it when it comes to creating the coolest bar/restaurant atmospheres. We love adding to our list of favorites.
- High-rise life is a dream!
I’ve never lived in a high rise building until moving here, but let me tell you, it’s incredible! I used to think I liked the idea of a charming walk up, but there’s nothing more convenient than living in a building. The space might be small, but I’d take that any day if it comes with a doorman, gym, no yard work, no home owner maintenance issues, and only a tiny area to keep tidy. Not to mention, the natural light and views from the windows make my life.
- Living in the heart of the fashion & PR world.
NYC is known as the place where style and trends are born and exchanged. It’s home to some of the world’s top fashion schools whose famous graduates add to the city’s fashion culture and networks. You can just feel the creative energy here, and it’s done wonders for my career. I’m able to meet with the brands I love in person and develop relationships with them on a personal level. Getting to connect with other bloggers, journalists, photographers, designers, and people in the media on a weekly basis has made my job so much more interactive and fun.
- The opportunities are truly endless.
It’s the land of opportunity and the city that never sleeps. Most people come to New York to further their careers, so everyone is on the same page when it comes to networking. Everything from the people you will meet to the unique things you’ll experience here will open more doors than you could ever imagine.
- Everyone wants to visit!
Although not everyone wants to move to New York, EVERYONE wants to come visit. In the first few months of living here, all of my siblings, my parents, and some of my best friends already came to visit. You’ll never have to talk your people into coming to see you!
- The diversity.
I’m from a small town in the Midwest and grew up in a cookie cutter neighborhood in Northern Indiana. Moving to one of the most diverse places in the world where more than 800 languages are spoken and a variety of cultures come together to live in harmony has been so eye opening. The city is a glorious, one-of-a-kind melting pot, and you can literally hear it all around you. The diversity adds richness to the society and creates an energy unlike anywhere else I’ve ever visited.
- The breathtaking views.
Whether I’m in Brooklyn admiring the NYC skyline, running to an appointment on the Upper East Side, having dinner overlooking the Statue of Liberty, or in my apartment looking out over the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges – these iconic views never get old. At least once a week I still have an ‘I can’t believe I live in New York City’ moment.
- No more distance!
Last, but not least… the long distance is finally over for us! Long distance was hard, not impossible. But, one thing is for sure: nothing compares to being able to spend normal, every day life together. Being together has strengthened and deepened my relationship with Conner to an entirely new level and made us both so much happier and at peace.
- Not having a car.
I LOVED having a car, but when I moved here I had to sell it. In Chicago, I would drive everywhere from UPS four blocks away to my parents house in Indiana. I miss drive-throughs (you have to work for your Starbucks here), gas stations, and packing all my groceries up into the trunk. Especially when it’s freezing cold…ugh I miss that car heater and heated seats!
- Expensive Uber Rides
Uber becomes a way of life once you move here. An average Uber ride from my apartment to meetings is hardly ever under $20. I take the subway as often as possible, but sometimes Uber is just unavoidable.
- I miss my people.
There’s just something about the Midwest and the South that you just don’t find in New York City. Of course I’m making new friends all the time (and love being with Conner and John more than anything), but sometimes I just miss the comfort of my best friends and family back home!
- NO storage or closet space.
It’s true, you pay a fortune to live in a little tiny box in Manhattan. I had to leave so many of my clothes/shoes/decor at home and bring only my favorite things when I moved. Part of me loves the minimalist lifestyle, but RIP to my never ending collection of crew neck sweatshirts, sleep tees, and comfy pants 😢 I’ve officially started storing my heavy winter clothes in my entertainment center 🤣
- People are workaholics.
For the most part, your career come first in NYC. It can feel like a rat race a lot of the time, and scheduling friend dates involves booking something together on your Google Calendars two months down the road. Life is incredibly fast paced here, so if you like a quiet, relaxed, laid back life, you may want to consider another place to live.
- The summers are HOT.
I underestimated the summers here in the city. Now I understand why New York is a ghost town most weekends between July and September. With hardly any pools, beaches, or lakes, the concrete jungle leaves you craving fresh air and grass!
- THE SMELL.
If you live here or have visited (especially during the summer), then you know all about the scents that come from a combination of 90 degree weather, humidity, trash on the streets, dog urine…I’ll stop, but you get the point. Until you’ve experienced it first hand, you won’t understand.
- I miss house parties/get togethers.
Because of space constraints, it’s not common for people to host game nights or house parties here. I love the intimacy of hanging out with friends and family in your own home, so that’s definitely something I miss.
- Everyone is in a hurry.
Including me! I’ve become a very impatient walker. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that you have to walk everywhere here, so people are always running late! Not only do people run into you all the time, but they don’t even think about turning around to apologize 🤣
At the end of the day, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, but just thought I’d give those of you considering moving to the city some insider info on what it’s really like to live here! Although I’m still completely Midwestern at heart, this place has made a huge impact on me and is slowly but surely becoming a part of who I am. I’m so glad Conner and I will always have the experience and memories of living here during this fun time in our lives. Cheers to one year, New York City!
Some of my favorite NYC posts from the last year:
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