As a recent college grad living the dream in the Big Apple, I did my fair share of pre-move Google searching for subjects such as, “how to get an apartment in NYC” and “how to live on $5 per day” and, my favorite, “how to stay alive.” My good friend Google usually came through with some kind of helpful list of advice, but three months later, here’s what I wish I’d known before purchasing that 1-way ticket.
1. New York real estate REALLY IS nuts. People aren’t lying to you. My roommate and I looked at one apartment and there were two other brokers and potential tenants looking at it at the same exact time we were. It was a five-minute process: walk to the apartment from the leasing office, look at the apartment, decide we want it, fill out applications.
2. You can live a perfectly happy, healthy life when all of your groceries come from a Duane Reade and a 24-hour corner produce stand. Also, Dunkin Donuts. Six donuts for $3.99, don’t judge me.
3. The bus isn’t scary at all! I mastered the subway back in my interning days, but it turns out the easiest way to get to and fro’ my office is to take the M15 Select Bus. There aren’t nearly as many people, it doesn’t smell half as bad, and your phone internet still works! Paradise on wheels.
4. IKEA. I wish I’d known about IKEA. Had someone given me the 411 of this magical, magical land in Red Hook sooner, I would have saved a lot of tears after looking at bedframes and shipping costs online. Just go to IKEA. Trust me.
5. People renting out their living rooms as bedrooms is actually a real thing, so don’t laugh as if someone’s telling you a joke when they tell you their bedroom door is a shower curtain.
6. Don’t wear your work shoes on your commute. OK, I might have learned this one a while ago (the hard way), but whatever you do, don’t be that woman walking through town in high-heels when flats will get you there faster.
7. You can do it! New York City is a big place and can seem scary, but a few friends and a positive attitude can go a long way. And if you ever need a friend to vent your big city concerns to, I’m always here.
— Allison Berry