The New York Diaries: 7 Things I Did/Learned in My First Week in New York

Times Square from 50th St

It’s been crazy that I officially live in NY now. I didn’t expect myself to acclimate as I have. I am really trying to get my life together. For those of you who don’t know…I am in New York working as an apprentice for the next 9 months. I am so happy to have this as a stepping stone in my career and life. I do miss my siblings dearly and I have called my mom more often than I ever did. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder and give you perspective. So, here are a couple of things that I have learned this week that I want to share with you. I also have some advice. Let me know in the comments below or give this a like. I am thinking of doing this series once a week. New York is not without the most interesting things happening.

  1. Don’t let the comfort of your home stop you from going out. So, when I arrived at my apartment, all I wanted to do was unpack and stay in. However, I didn’t have groceries. So, I forced myself to head out to the grocery store instead of using modern conveniences like postmates or another grocery service or eating out. Not that those are bad, but I wanted to really push myself to become comfortable where I live and the surrounding area. I found an area that had more than just my local Aldi, it was fantastic and I have been back at least two times since
  2. Take the taxi. If you can afford it, take it when you first move to the city. It cost me about $60.00 but I know I wouldn’t have been able to lug three suitcases through the subway and then up the stairs. Most of the subway stops don’t have elevators. So, if you are moving with all that you have, just save the headache and get that taxi.
  3. Subways aren’t that bad once you get used to it. The three words “Uptown,” “Downtown,” and “Brooklyn” will help you gain a general direction as to where you are going in the city. Of course, some of them are not listed and you will definitely have to use Google Maps to help you out. Uptown= goes up towards the Bronx. Downtown= goes down towards Staten Island Ferry. Brooklyn= goes off the main island towards Brooklyn. I know that it may sound silly to say all of that but it has really helped me gain a sense of direction.
  4. If you get lost, explore. (within safety and reason) New York is only dangerous if you aren’t smart about it or at least cautious. I got on the subway and realized I was heading towards downtown. Sadly, you can’t just transfer over, you have to actually get above ground and go to the uptown side, meaning that you will have to swipe your metro card again. I got off after the second stop and ended up at 50th st. I took a moment to see the hustle and bustle of Times Square from afar.
  5. Tourist is not a bad thing. There is so much to see and do in New York that avoiding the touristy spots means that you can really be missing out on the amazing things in life. Like, me getting lost and ending up near Times Square was my first moment of realization that New York is my home for the next year. The museums may be considered tourism but the exhibits are amazing, for sure. I still need to go to the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at The Met! If you end up feeling jaded, go on off hours. Go to Times Square early in the morning when you are enjoying your coffee or experience it at night when the people are in awe of the bright future they see.
  6. Getting my stuff delivered has been a nightmare. I don’t say this to freak anyone out, I am just telling you my story. So, in order to get someone to sublease my room, I ordered a folding bed frame, bed, and mattress cover. My bed frame was said to have been delivered but my roommate did not see it. I called Amazon, who were really helpful and replaced it free of charge. When I ordered my items from UPS, they wouldn’t deliver for the longest time even though I gave them my door code. So, I signed up for a UPS My Choice account, which made things a little easier but not by much. I also have a UPS store close so I had my personal boxes that my sister sent for me sent there. Currently, I am dealing with a desk that I ordered off of Amazon that got shipped through FedEx and was said to have had three attempted deliveries. I was not home for the first time, the second time I was home, and the third time I left them the door code on my account. I called FedEx, she was helpful, and she called the local facility who were really rude. You will find that shipping companies around here are actually really rude. Granted, some of them are really nice. My local UPS, is pretty nice. FedEx, I feel, is the most unreliable where I am living in the city. UPS is hit or miss, USPS has been pretty consistent.
  7. I LOVE the quiet. With the craziness of the city, I am always surrounded by people or noises or my A/C unit. I do not really hear quiet unless my A/C shuts off or I am asleep. I hear so many things throughout the day that I just need that peace and quiet. I don’t want the honking, the screeching of the rails, or the people who will randomly talk to you in a way that is uncomfortable. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the sounds of New York, I do, but I enjoy a quiet mind that comes with stepping away from teh world and into my room.

I hope that this helps you! I know that it was a lot of information! I am hoping that I will get to document more of my time here and give you peaks into my life.

xx

Tiffany

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Wanderlust #17: I Found New York

IMG_1108(This photo is grainy but my friend took this photo of me when we finally reunited and it makes me happy because I was really feeling all the love.)

I am trying to catch up on letting you all know of my awesome adventures that I had this past summer! It will be a while before I hit the very end but I hope that you will enjoy all of them. My sister, a while back, brought up going to see Anastasia on Broadway and how could I say no? The day came when my sister and I traveled to our hometown and met up with everyone there. We got on our plane around 2:00 pm and arrived around 5:30 pm.

I arrived at LGA in New York and took a cab to my friend’s apartment. I had never been in a cab before and was surprised that it isn’t as scary as I once thought. I got to my friend’s place but she was at work. I walked next door and asked for the keys from the shop owner. I went inside her apartment and got settled. She sent an Uber for me around 10:00 pm, I think, and I went to where she worked. The restaurant (I won’t mention it since I don’t want to reveal where she works for privacy. Hope you understand!) was chill with nice ambiance. I ate some very fancy food and she even paid for it. I appreciated that very much. We decided to walk through the city and we ended up at a boba cafe.

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But, you know, one boba drink is just not enough. I went through Chinatown the following day and explored the early morning. Store owners were unloading their trucks and getting their shops ready for customers. I went through Little Italy and explored some of that as well. I stayed behind at my friend’s place until she got back from work around 7:00 pm.

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My friend is someone I have known since 2012 and we have been through the good and bad times. I was sad to know that she was moving to New York back in 2015. I made her this pillow and it had seen better days. On the left is the wear and tear on the pillow but I stitched it back up. Still don’t know where that “R” disappeared to, though.

-Tiffany

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Wanderlust #15: Traveling Alone

Traveling alone is both the best and scariest thing a person can do but it is life-changing for the better, in my opinion. I have traveled 3 times solo on my own, all international and the first time I traveled, I had immense anxiety. The first place I traveled to was Novafeltria, Italy where it is the countryside and no one speaks English well or at all. I was there for five weeks and during my internship, I took Italian classes almost every morning. But, how did I adjust to the different culture and environment?

Take a day to relax. I remember waking up early and going to the grocery store by myself and it became an occurring thing for me. The grocery store was about a 10-minute walk and it allowed me to just take in the scenery and then I went to the local cafe and even made lunch in the house I was staying in. Taking that adjustment time allowed my anxiety calm down. After that moment, I went place around the small city by myself and felt at ease. I still had my kitty defender keychain with me but only experienced one possibly uncomfortable situation. Aside from that, I had a wonderful time and felt I could go anywhere and still feel good.

Travel with caution. I don’t mean to feel like someone is looking over your shoulder every second of every day but to take precautionary measures, especially in a new place you don’t know until you become a little more comfortable. When I travel, I generally have a backpack with essentials, a carry-on, a checked bag, and my fanny pack. Because everything would be inconvenient to grab in case of something happening, put all of your needed essentials into the fanny pack. I will be posting what they are very soon!

Just take it all in. The best thing about what I did in all the places I visited is just taking a moment to sit and really take in that I was in a new country with people I didn’t know at all.

Get lost. By get lost, I mean have an offline version of Google Maps downloaded with your hotel/hostel starred so that if you don’t know your way back, you have a map with the roads and can follow that.

If you have any questions about traveling solo, leave them down below! I hope that this helps. I may do a sequel to this in the future.

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