In case you missed my 87-minute long Facebook Live announcement or haven’t perused my Instagram (read: dog and pizza gallery) in a while, I moved from Atlanta to THE BIG APPLE. And no, I don’t actually call it that because I’m not your dad or a midday talk show host (unfortunately). 

I moved to New York City one month ago, into an awesome apartment in the East Village that I’ve since found out is basically an abandoned building composed of lead dust and angry rent-controlled tenants, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve learned a lot and would like to spread my wealth pocket change of knowledge, in case anyone has just moved here, is considering moving here, or just wants a good old-fashioned laugh at my expense. You’re welcome!

1. Every time something bad happens, someone who has lived here longer than you will say “Welcome to New York!”
When I first moved here, I would tell/text my New York friends about all the ridiculous/weird/challenging things happening to me on a daily basis and the response was always the same: “Welcome to New York!” with a wink and/or sinister laugh. “My apartment is a sauna and I can’t turn down the heat.” Welcome to New York! “I have blown through my entire savings account in four days.” Welcome to New York! “I just saw someone take a shit in the street.” WELCOME TO NEW YORK! Those are the lyrics to that Taylor Swift song, right?

2. Always bring a phone charger.
Your phone is going to die. Always. It will die because it’s hot and it will die because it’s cold and it will die because someone sent you a dick pic and it will die because New York City drains everything it touches. If it’s at 70%, it will die. If it’s at 99%, it will die. If it’s at 4000%, it will die. And no one will care. Bring a charger.

3. It will always take you longer to get somewhere than you expected.
The dumbest thought that goes through my head on a daily basis (and there are a lot) is “It will just take 20 minutes to get there.” I never claimed to be a super punctual person in Atlanta, but I sure as shit wasn’t rushing into dark yoga classes and knocking over people’s water bottles like a goddamn linebacker and frantically hailing cabs to get to meetings on time. I hope I get a handle on this life skill sooner than later (and I apologize to everyone at Y7 Yoga for fucking up your warmup chakra yesterday). 

4. You will bleed money.
Actually, that’s not a strong enough metaphor. You will HEMORRHAGE money. Ok no, what’s even worse than that? If you could get waterboarded then die a slow torturous death from spending money, that is what would happen.  

5. Everyone claims to be broke but everyone also has a $900 Canada Goose coat.

6. FOMO is on a whole new level.
I thought I outgrew FOMO at 31. I would be at home Netflixing in sweatpants and see people out partying, and feel completely content. NOT IN NEW YORK. Every moment I spend on the couch, I’m thinking of all the awesome stuff happening around the city I’m missing out on, wishing I got invited to all the cool events like I did in Atlanta, and essentially just feeling like a huge loser. (Don’t feel sorry for me though; I just got HBO.)

7. There’s always a catch.
If you find an amazing apartment in an awesome neighborhood within (or under) your budget, didn’t blow anybody for it, and think it’s too good to be true………..OH SISTER, IT IS. Just trust me on this one.

8. Sending your laundry out will change your life.
I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was 13 because my mom had an unparalleled penchant for shrinking my jeans which were already too short because I was so tall and the term “high-waters” still haunts me to this day. But I digress. I am very particular about my clothes, so when I moved into an apartment without a washer/dryer, I was slightly panicked on what to do (and reading Yelp horror stories about the local wash-and-fold joints didn’t help). I discovered an app called Folded and they picked up my clothes at 6pm, dropped them off at 9am the next day, put all my hang dry items on individual hangers, and gave me a free (and cute!) laundry bag. I highly recommend it. The awkwardness of knowing the delivery guy may have just seen all your period underwear is an added bonus!
PS, here’s my $15 discount code if you’re interested and not offended by this shameless plug: Ashley2050

9. 14th St. and 14th St/Union Square are two different Subway stops.
This is a super fun thing to learn when you’re in a rush LOLZ!

Trader Joe’s in Atlanta was my jam — quality food at great prices and the employees’ Hawaiian shirts were always a little tropical treat to brighten my shopping trip. Trader Joe’s in Union Square is an absolute clusterfuck. I walked in at 2pm on a Wednesday, was elated to pick up a 6-pack of English muffins for $1.99 (!!!!), then realized the line was wrapped around the entire store to the point where employees were standing with “Line Ends Here” signs like they were herding a damn marathon corral. I abandoned the English muffins, hoofed it to Westside Market where I purchased ONE SCONE for $1.99, and never looked back.

11. Dogs are nice and you can pet them.
When I was apartment searching in January, I posted prayed on Facebook “Lord, please give me the strength to not pet every dog in NYC.” And everyone was like “LOL NOT IN NEW YORK SWEETIE, THE OWNERS WON’T LET YOU!” And to all those naysayers who tried to crush my dreams: You were wrong and are also dead to me now. Maybe it’s just in the East Village dog mecca, but I usually meet/pet at least three friendly dogs (and their friendly owners) every day while I’m out walking Dewey. My biggest regret so far is not taking a picture of the adorable Corgi in a wheelchair I saw last week. Because SPOILER ALERT: MY PHONE WAS DEAD.

In conclusion, I love my new home. No one knows or care who I am, I’m on the verge of a ‘70s bush because I don’t have a bikini waxer here yet, and I still do something really idiotic once (ok, two to four times) a day, but I know this is where I’m supposed to be. This city might chew me up and spit me out but it will be so worth it in the end (I think).


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