1. I’ll memorize the whole subway system in a cool three months.
Wouldn’t that be lovely. Despite its worldwide fame for convenience and usability, the New York Subway system is a byzantine labyrinth of express and local tracks, elevated and underground segments, regular and irregular services, and in a send-up to the reputation of the city it serves, it is constantly changing. Good luck memorizing the Manhattan lines in three years.
2. Next year, I’m getting my own place.
In Jersey? Either start making a literal criminal amount of money or recognize that sharing a living room with someone is better than paying $400 to live in a crawl space (real thing that happened in Williamsburg).
3. I’ll visit my college friends in the next borough over all the time.
Just one look at the subway map and you will realize that getting from Queens to Brooklyn, or even from the Bronx to Washington Heights ain’t so simple. God help you if the lines are down, or the trains have switched tracks, or simply don’t arrive (all likely in 2017). Just do what the rest of us do: ask to meet your best friend from senior year somewhere in the middle of Manhattan (between Canal and 42nd will do), spend $30 bucks on a hamburger and a few beers, recognize that this catch-up chat was way to expensive/time-consuming, and never see your friend again.
4. Halloween is the best damn holiday there is.
No, wait, New Year’s is. No, St. Patrick’s. No, it’s gotta be the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Maybe Pride Day? But West Indian Carnival was so beautiful… Is NYC just a non-stop multi-cultural party?
5. I don’t have to drink every weekend.
Yeah, good luck turning your boss down when they tell you that brunch Bloody Marys are mandatory for office social cohesion. I think it is because 20 million people are constantly flowing in and around a tiny collection of peninsulas and islands at breakneck speeds 24 hours a day every single day of the year that causes residents to drink themselves into a citywide stupor every weekend.
6. That is not a man in a suit pooping in a trashcan on Union Square.
Oh yes, it is.
7. People will find me interesting when I tell them my awesome new job.
The first challenge of socializing in NYC is realizing that nobody has just one job. They also have a business they are trying to kick-start, night classes they take three days a week, a dance class they take in order to impress a crush and maybe they walk dogs on the weekends so they can afford to live in Manhattan. New York is constant work.
8. New York is just a city like any other.
I think most transplants go until their dying days wishing this were the case. The unfortunate truth is that America’s biggest city is its own universe with a cultural gravity that can only be compared across time to 10th century Baghdad, 14th century Timbuktu or early 20th century Paris. If you do leave, you might find that you cannot help but seek out the things you loved about NYC wherever you end up.