My New York Life #1: 7 Things I Did/Learned During 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 #21: Misconceptions of New York

IMG_2835New York has always been a place that I wanted to go to and when I was around the age of 11 or 12, my whole family went for a wedding. I have never been more afraid in my life. My parents, like many others, are super overprotective and very cautious. It frustrates me to this day that they impose their fears onto me because I don’t want that negativity in my life. I don’t want my experiences to be soiled by their fears. Thankfully, my idea of New York changed when my friend let me stay at her place. If you have seen my recent posts, I talk about my experiences in New York and I cannot wait to go back. Now, before I get into all of this, I will say that there are always truths in each misconception but it is not the full truth. My parents made it seem like New York was full of hooligans and murderers only.

IMG_1097Misconception #1: You will get hurt in New York if you head out at night. I was actually nervous when my friend sent an Uber for me around 10:00 pm because I am not someone who goes out at night at all. I got in and went to her restaurant to find that the people in the restaurant and the people around were really nice. The atmosphere was so different than what I was used to. New Yorkers just don’t care that you are walking around. I was in the Lower East Side which made the experience so much more authentic because it wasn’t full of tourists. I remember going through the city in the wee hours and not feeling weighed down.

Misconception #2: New York is dirty. To a certain extent, yes. I will say that I was nervous because I would see trash bags on the sidewalk and be worried about all the rats. I actually only saw one rat. I found out that the main reason that trash bags are on the street is that there are no trash containers for the trash trucks to grab. The subways are not the cleanest and it does smell but it isn’t the worst thing. I saw so many interesting people on the subway and it really gives you another perspective to the New York experience if you want a well-rounded one.

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Misconception #3: Don’t trust anyone. I can understand this if you are in a heavy tourist area because when I did go to Times Square or Staten Island, so many people kept asking us to buy tickets to this and that. However, if you are not in the main area of New York where there are so many people bombarding you with tickets and things, you can find the gems that are decent people. My friend had to go to work and because I wasn’t going to get to her apartment in time, she left her keys next door at a restaurant with a worker. Another day she left her keys at a deli with the owner for a guest. It blows my mind because I feel like if you did it in other cities that people would give you a funny look. Maybe I am wrong, but it just changed my perception of the people there.

IMG_2819Misconceptions #4: Cabs will steal from you. I am sure that it does happen but each cabbie I was a customer of was either quiet or very nice. I love that the cabs in New York have a credit card machine so you don’t have to have cash on you at all times. I also think that the media portrays some cab drivers as people who will drive away with your luggage or that people will throw up in those cars and the cabbies won’t clean them up.

Misconception #5: You can’t sit on the Met steps. This is going to sound silly but I swear that I read that you couldn’t sit on them because so many people kept doing it when Gossip Girl was on the air.

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Misconception #6: You won’t get anywhere if you take a car. Not true. Sure, you could probably get somewhere by walking much faster than by car. I feel that my friend and I got to the Seaglass Carousel from where she was much faster than if we had taken the subway because we didn’t have to wait for a subway car that was delayed. If you are with a cabbie or uber driver then you are fine because they know just how crazy to drive to get you to your destination.

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Misconception #7: New York is full of people who are not happy with their lives. Not true at all. There are so many people who thrive in New York, like my friend who is living in the city of her dreams. New York offers people so many cultures in one small area of the world. The people who live in New York, truly live in New York, find something about it that speaks to them or keeps them going.

Have you heard any misconceptions of New York that changed?

-Tiffany

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Graze Box Code: HW2V4RZ6B

Wanderlust #20: Anastasia on Broadway

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I reunited with my sister after a couple of days to meet up with her and her friends. I cannot even begin to express how beautiful this musical was. It had the perfect mix of traditional-childhood and brand new. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. My favorite costume was the queen’s/tsarina’s because it had the most beautiful long cape that just trailed across the floor. Even though I was in the mezzanine, the costume was the most amazing out of them all. The one thing I am most disappointed in is Anastasia’s final look, you know, the yellow gown that we all know from childhood. However, she came out in a red dress that kind of made her look short from the mezzanine. I looked into the concepts of the costumes and found that the red was meant to represent the color of royalty.

Overall, the impact of using history added more depth to the musical but I found myself falling in and out of the story. I think that if I had been closer then I would have a better perspective. I think that I will definitely go back to see this musical again. Out of all the musicals I have seen that is stemmed from a childhood movie, this was the best interpretation because it had something new for audiences but still kept a lot of the heart of the material.

IMG_1223(Onee-chama is just an old nickname, so just ignore that on the snapchat lol)

-Tiffany

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Wanderlust #19: Tourist Eyes in New York

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Out of all the things I wanted to do in New York, the Seaglass Carousel was the number one thing that had to happen. If you don’t know what Seaglass Carousel is, it is a carousel that is in Battery Park near the Staten Island Ferry. The carousel has four rotating boards that have large fish that you can sit in. The carousel lasts 3 minutes and it is the most magical thing. I wish I could have gone at night but when I did, they were closed (definitely supposed to be open but they closed early) but I did enjoy the daytime visit.

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After hanging out around the Seaglass Carousel, where I purchased some cool souvenirs, we went to MoMa and the Metropolitan Museum. I had Anastasia this night so we were tight on time but we made it work. I saw all of MoMa, something you can do in a couple of hours, but only got through a small portion of the Met. I saw a beautiful exhibit that included what Rihanna wore to The Met Gala. Really interesting and structural pieces.

I did get to relive my dream of sitting on the Met steps from Gossip Girl. I wish I could have been on the steps a little bit longer and spend some time just enjoying New York in that way.

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-Tiffany

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Wanderlust #18: New York | Kossar’s Bakery and Deli and Doughnut Plant

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I love food. So, I wanted to give a little shout out to some of the awesome food that I had in New York.

Don’t hurt me because I don’t have any photos of Kossar’s Bakery and Deli but I do want to talk about it because it was so good! When in New York, you “have” to get a bagel, right? Before arriving in New York, I ate cream cheese and salmon bagels and Kossar’s just blew my bagels out of the water. I will say that it must be the way the workers were but they were very stoic and I felt intimidated to order. However, I just followed my friend’s lead. I ordered the White Hot after they told me that they ran out of salmon. The White Hot: Whitefish salad, schmears roasted jalapeno-caper cream cheese, pickled red onions, and lettuce. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.  Holy cow, this was absolutely amazing. I cannot tell you how nice it was to eat something fishy that didn’t bombard you with the knowledge that you were definitely eating fish. The flavors worked beautifully from the tanginess of the capers that underlie the cream cheese to create a delicious spread. The lettuce and onion added the perfect crunch to the bagel as a whole.

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Doughnut Plant is just everything I want in a cake doughnut. If you are expecting more of a Krispy Kreme, you might want to look elsewhere. However, if you love interesting flavors, go here! I ended up with the Rose Petal, Red Velvet, and Manhattan Cream. I bought the rose one because it sounded so interesting. The petal was edible and not hard to eat. The doughnut itself is very light in flavor but isn’t like your traditional doughnut. If you want something plainer, the Rose Petal is for you. The Red Velvet is something I couldn’t pass up and it was everything I wanted. The perfect doughnut. The Manhattan Cream is like the Boston Cream doughnut, which is why I bought it, and it didn’t disappoint.

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-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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Review: AVON Urban Flowers in New York

I bought this after I saw it a long time ago when it was $12. I bought mine for $2.99-$3.99 I believe. I normally buy AVON scents not knowing what it honestly smells like. I love this smell however! My mom did as well and bought herself one too. It does smell like flowers but isn’t overpowering where you will scrunch your nose. I really, really like it. This is more of a daytime scent and stays on all day as well. I recommend this to everyone who comes across it. It comes as 1 fl oz. but is totally worth less than $5.

Positive: Smells so good and is not too girly.

Negative: Nothing.

WTB: AVON.