7 Things I Learned My First Week Living In New York…

monica dimperio nyc

Last August I turned 30. It was that day I had my second quarter life crisis. The first was when I was 24.5.

Over the last six years I accomplished more than I had ever imagined. The only thing I didn’t do that I wanted to in my twenties was move to New York. The bug bit me when I was a little girl visiting family in Queens then it full-blown took over my brain freshman year of college when I came to visit friends at NYU and FIT. That trip I walked what felt like half the island but in retrospect I realize we never went above 14th street. My girlfriends and I drank underage in the Korova Milk Bar with my awful fake ID, watched someone set a couch on fire, smoked ciggs at the Yaffa Cafe on St. Marks, and saw Carson Daly and Tara Reid grabbing late night slices. It was the most magical time of my life.

I’m moving to New York. I’m moving to New York. I’m moving to New York. I repeated this over and over again throughout my twenties. No one ever believed me.

Thirteen years later I decided to stop crying wolf and put a plan into motion. On my birthday I set a goal to move to NYC within one year. Fucking period. No one or nothing was going to stop me. It was tough. I hardly dated for fear of someone holding me back. I rarely drank because that is the source of lackadaisical attitude. Primed my overbearing parents, strong network of friends, and starbucks baristas. Orange alert, dudes. This is really happeing.

I put a crazy four-step action plan together (you’ll read about it in my book one day) and 11 days after my 31st birthday, I got on a one-way flight to my new home. It has only been two weeks but I already know it was the best decision of my life.

These are the seven things I learned my first week in New York…

  1. Pizza is a way of life. In Chicago, deep dish pizza is a tourist attraction. Ask anyone how often they eat it. For me, it’s once a year at a family event or when someone’s friend from Canada is in town and they order in Lou Malnati’s.
  2. Skateboard culture is not dead. You see everyone from 10-year-olds to businessmen riding decks around town. After the subway, I’d say it’s the second mode of transportation in NYC followed closely by walking.
  3. Dining is considered a hobby in NYC. All you do is eat and when you aren’t eating you’re talking about food.
  4. Nudity is okay in the sauna. I saw examples of this on Friends and Seinfeld but I had my own moment at Equinox. A woman walked in and asked me where the hell I was from that I wore a towel in the sauna (as she introduced herself and spread eagle next to me). I’ve never felt more conservative in my life.
  5. It’s easy to become an alcoholic because “Happy Hour” is a real thing here. It’s not just a phrase you use for an after-work meetup. It’s a five-hour period of the day where people pound cheap drinks before they go to another bar or pass out.
  6. The men here are different. There’s a different level of confidence they carry. It’s like really beautiful. 8===D~~
  7. Most importantly, I learned not to put all my eggs in one basket, something I often forgot in Chicago. There are SO MANY POSSIBILITIES for everything. If one opportunity is missed whether it be food or a dude there’s another one right around the corner. Hence why no one settles here. There is no real reason to.

To be continued…


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  • lmac

    What a wonderful piece on following your dreams! Congrats on the big move!!

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