Things You Wouldn't Understand About NYC Unless You're Actually There Right Now
When you live outside of a place, you don't really have a lot of context as to what goes on there. You hear things in the news or friends tell about their trip there, but you don't really understand how it is to be in that city and the cultural events that go on there. Before getting to New York City, I only knew of it for Central Park and the TV show 'Friends.' I couldn't have imagined some of the nuances that come from actually living and thriving there. Here's a few things I've come to understand just from the past 9 months living in this city.
The Cultural Phenomenon of Hamilton The Musical
In the fall of 2015, a show that that been recently played at the Public Theater made its Broadway debut. This show was Hamilton, which has become the hottest ticket. For those who love musical theatre, it's definitely been heard around the world as the next big thing, but for those who actually live in New York City and want to be able to go see this show, it's nearly impossible. Shows have getting sold out the minute tickets go live, and are bought out all the way through next year and it doesn't seem like the insanity is stopping. To combat the fact that only rich people could afford these high-priced seats, the Ham4Ham lottery was started, which meant people without tickets could go to the theatre a couple hours before the show, put their name in a bucket and hope they could grab a $10 front-row seat. While this has been an amazing idea, over 500 people would show up for each lottery making the chances of winning slim to none. To entertain the fans as they waited for names to drawn, creator and star of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda would host a short show out front of the theatre usually starring fellow Broadway show's performers or celebrities. It's truly taken over many New Yorker's minds as we wonder if we'll ever see it. Those who don't live in the city can't truly comprehend how big of a deal it really is. Many conversations amongst new friends start with, "Have you seen Hamilton yet?"
We're Not Paranoid About Terrorist Attacks
After the Paris attacks in October, New York City got put on high alert. And while it was a bit shaking to think that this city could be next on a chain of attacks, we really just went among our business and kept doing as we always had. Yes, there was definitely more big, burly men in SWAT gear with massive guns in their hands patrolling the area, but as someone who works in Herald Square, which was flashed to in an ISIS video, I was assured that there was nothing to worry about and that going into work didn't equal a death sentence. The attacks on 9/11 in 2001 really shook up the city, and it took a long time to rebuild what was lost, but New Yorkers are strong people, and the people who have moved to the city since then are brave people, not in the sense that we think we're invincible against a terrorist attack, but it takes a lot of gumption to move to a huge city, so some threats may come our way, but we keep on keeping on, since that's what we have to do. It's better to just live life and not worry.
Who's Up and Coming in the Comedy Scene
Since arriving to the city, I've seen more amazing performances in comedy than I ever have in my life. And also since getting here, I've seen people who were just at the brink of their big break right before they made it big the next month. You really have to be here in person to see who's ready to be the next Amy Poehler or Aziz Ansari. Some of these folk are really about to be household names, but are performing their butts off in the meantime, and you can see them for free or quite cheap before it costs hundreds of dollars. Many of them are longtime residents of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and have shows there a couple times a week, alongside other gigs. My comedy crushes post still rings true, and many of these comedians have finally gotten their big break or are very much on the cusp of landing a job that will change their life. And the best thing about knowing who all these folk are before they're famous is that many of them are still humble and easily approachable and super happy to talk about the process.
What are some other things that you would only know about New York if you were living here?
I've become an NYC contributor for The Culture Trip, a website that has articles for any part of the world you could ever want to know about. You can read my articles about up and coming comedians and celebrity hot spots and hopefully more to come.