New York City: First Impressions


Oh hey, um, I live in New York City now! And how do I feel about that? Well, it's still a bit surreal in my head that I am actually here and I'm not just going to wake up in my bed somewhere else. I am here and it's real! I arrived on Sunday evening into JFK airport, took my first subway ride (the A train), met up with my dear friend Conner who let me crash at his place, ate greasy Chinese food take out, went onto his roof for my first glimpse of New York at night and then fell asleep, ready to wake up the next morning and explore the city. The next morning, I dressed up nicely for my first in-person job interview (the rest had been via Skype), left the building, attempted to beam out for an Uber driver to come pick me up so I wouldn't have to drag my luggage a mile and a half to my sublet, got majorly frustrated when it said the car was there, but I couldn't find it. Then a car pulled up to the curb and the guy asked me a question I couldn't understand and then drove away, but thankfully the actual Uber driver pulled up a second later and I got to my new home and dropped off my stuff and met my roommate for the next two months.

Now that I've updated you on my move, now I want to write about my first impressions of this city I am now calling my home and how it compares to London:

It truly is the dirtier version of London. People kept telling me that if I loved London, that I'd love New York, but it is the dirtier version of London. That promise has been held up.

Within the first two days I saw Camden Food Co., Pret a Manger, Wasabi and other British eateries and it freaked me out at first because I was like, "Where am I?"

The subway is a lot louder, smellier, clunkier and colder than the Tube, but I kind of like it. It's on a grid system here in New York, which makes a lot more sense than London's weird pattern the trains follow.

I still can't understand people even though I'm back in America. New York is just as diverse as London, which means interacting with a lot of immigrants or people with accents.

The vibe of the city is so different, like there's an air of "scary," but I know I shouldn't be scared.

Everything is so huge and tall and close together, whereas in London the tall buildings only thrive in The City and there's much more open space.

People are surprised at how far away I'm from. Apparently it's weird to move here from the west coast.

Obviously the men are more aggressive here in terms of harassment. I had a man knock on the window of the Starbucks I was sitting in and tell me he loved me while looking totally creepy.

People were right when they said everything in cities are more expensive. I went into Chipotle and was appalled to see that everything was $2 more than on the west coast.

Everyone has been super nice to me so far, which kind of contradicts the whole "mean New Yorker" stereotype, although I know it just means I haven't found a grumpy person yet.

When it's sunny in this city, it is BEAUTIFUL. My walk through Central Park yesterday was so lovely.

I feel like it's going to take me forever to learn where everything is and the orientation of the city, but only because there's so many neighborhoods and boroughs.

You know that feeling you get when something just feels right? That's how I feel about New York. It feels right to be here. I feel completely at home and it's only been a few days. For a girl who grew up on a tiny, isolated island at the opposite side of the country, moving to the most intense, bustling city in the world, I feel like I've found the place I'm meant to be. Granted, it's literally only been a few days since I landed and I know eventually I'll start to hate things, but at this moment in time, I can see myself settling here and making NYC my permanent home and I'm not even scared about that, which means it must be right.