Living in New York City isn’t like living in other places. Here, the city you live in is never just a part of the background. Here, your surroundings change everything—and not always for the better. While others may come home and forget about the world outside, many New Yorkers will hear taxi horns and other street noise in our notoriously noisy city or pace their tiny, overpriced apartments and be reminded once again of where they live. This is New York City, baby!
No, it’s not all bad. But it is all very New York City, and there’s just no escaping it when you live in the center of the universe. That’s why New Yorkers don’t just “live” or “get by” in New York City. They’re mastering a certain kind of lifestyle that can make this place’s crazy stresses more tolerable while making its high notes feel even higher. As you grow closer and closer to the unattainable goal of being a “real” New Yorker, allow us to submit these humble suggestions to help you get by.
Create Healthy Eating Shortcuts
New York City is great for a lot of things. In many ways, though, it’s a terrible place for healthy eating. New York City is full of small apartments with tiny kitchens. Its restaurants are delicious, but not always healthy (and they’re expensive, too). Its grocery stores are less common than you might hope, and its bodegas don’t always offer very economical ways to stock up on food. Its takeout and delivery joints are abundant, convenient, and not that expensive at least, not relative to how much everything else costs around here. All of this can lead New Yorkers to eat in very unhealthy ways.
To fight back, you’ll need to incentivize healthy eating. How you do this is up to you, but some methods are tried and true. Ordering groceries online can help fill your small kitchen with stuff to cook. Using a slow cooker can help you create a meal that’s ready when you get back from work, meaning you won’t have to order delivery just because you’re “too tired to cook.” And meal prep can help you stock up on ready-to-eat meals while limiting your cooking time each week.
Know Where To Get Tickets
In New York City, you take the good with the bad and both the good and the bad can be extreme. Take the performance art scene here. People living in smaller cities might have to worry that they’ll be left out of the big tour, but New Yorkers never have to fret. New York City draws in every touring act, and its larger-than-life local scene creates the best of everything from little indie bands to over-the-top Broadway productions. But there’s a downside, too: Getting tickets to the hottest shows in town can be a brutal odyssey, and prices for hot tickets can be sky-high.
That’s why you need to cultivate a New Yorker’s expertise in getting cheap tickets. Working your connections is an option if you’re rich and powerful, but the rest of us will look for our Book of Mormon tickets on websites that give us lower prices than the box offices do. Having the right websites bookmarked can make a huge difference in how much you’re able to enjoy this city’s wonderful performance scene on a reasonable budget.
Organize Your Health Appointments
New York City is known for being busy and hectic and Type A people are known for thriving here. But plenty of us New Yorkers are disorganized and harried half of the time (or more than half the time!), and sometimes we let important things slip through the cracks. When you’re racing back and forth to work and living it up in the New York City nightlife, you might forget to take care of the basic stuff.
Take a weekend day and get organized. Make appointments for all of the professionals that you need to see, including your primary care physician, dentist, and everyone else on your list. Mark out appointments on a calendar (like the one on your smartphone). Find ways to make appointments more convenient, suggest experts who offer eye exams in New Jersey: You might choose a doctor near your work instead of near your apartment, for instance.
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