Some of us transplants still have our moments. Mine was on the 4 train today when the standard message came over the intercom, “This is a message from the New York City Police Department,” I hear it every day, it’s not unusual in any way. But today it I heard it around 7pm on my way back from downtown (my first-ever trip to Century 21, embarrassing, I know) and it struck me, “I live in New York City!” I wanted to squeal it out as I sat on the quiet train, but kept my mouth shut so they wouldn’t have officers waiting to escort me to Bellevue when I stepped off.
It’s been over a year and for the ten years or so I dreamed of living here, I never thought I’d actually move here. I live here. Sometimes I forget that I live in NYC because I get lost in the places I only go to every day–my apartment, my school, my office building, “my” Starbucks, “my” bagel place…you get the point… occasionally you lose how massive and amazing this city actually is and I remembered it today, for some reason.
A year ago today, to the date, I was attending my first beauty event for The Makeup Girl. I remember it because I was so excited–I got dressed up and I showered and primped–and was totally, totally late–but I met some amazing gals that night!
So that’s #1: the 1-year anniversary of my first beauty blogger event.
#2 I spit out subway directions as if I’ve lived here my whole life. Today, a woman attempted to stop me during rush hour in the middle of Grand Central…I only half listened to her–she wanted to know how to get the NQR trains… “Take the 7 or the Shuttle to Times Square transfer there,” I yelled as I ran down the stairs to catch my train. I didn’t even have to think about it or consult a map. Not rocket science, but I do it for people who are clueless all the time. I was that person once.
#3 I drove here for the first time a few weeks ago. No, like, I drove in the city. I brought my car in one day when I had to leave and go back to MA the next day and I drove in midtown. 51 blocks into midtown, to be exact. All the way across 14th street to 10th avenue and then up to 59th. (I say 51 blocks, because I actually drove up to 65th to find a parking lot). And it wasn’t scary. I thought I’d be petrified and get into an accident and freak out. But it was totally fine and it felt a hell-of-a lot safer than a cab ride.
#4 I’ve discovered this: When all else fails: Walk. Sure, it’s a big city, but sometimes the subway and the bus are just too damn crowded. So I walk…leisurely to where ever I need to go…even when my feet hurt. I used to do it all the time before I lived here–just wander around– because I had no idea where I was going. But now I wander with the purpose of eventually getting to my destination, while discovering things I wouldn’t have seen on the bus or train. It’s amazing what you can find–things you’ve passed a million times and never noticed before.
#5 I’ve found “my” spots. The gay Starbucks barista on 1st avenue calls me “babe” and asks if I’m getting my “usual”. I can walk from my apartment to there in 4 minutes flat. All six different baristas that work the 3 days I’m at the office at the one in my office building know my order. My bagel spot (Bagel Boss on 1st avenue) greets me with “How are you?” Instead of “what can I get you?” now. I even see the same police officers at the train stations, and the same drivers on the bus who greet me differently than when I was just a face in a crowd. I love feeling like I’m part of the “in” crowd in NYC.
Just the other day, a classmate said to me, “it’s so cool that you live in the city,” and I said, “but you live in Brooklyn don’t you?” and she said, “yeah, but it’s not the same thing. I’ve lived in Brooklyn my whole life. It’s not Manhattan.”
And today, just like it occasionally does– it hit me: it is really freakin’ cool that I live here.