In the past 6 ½ weeks, I feel like I have learned a lot about New York City! I really have tried to explore as much as possible during nights and weekends because there is SO much to do here and I wanted to take advantage of it all. Because there is so much to do, I have obviously not experienced the vast majority of it; however, I have done a lot. At this point in the summer, I have been to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, Central Park, the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, Soho, Chelsea and Meatpacking, Times Square, and most of Midtown. I think that’s pretty good for exploring by myself most of the time. I have pretty much figured out the subway (maps basically tells me exactly what to do, but still)! I love the area I am living in, Greenwich Village. There are so many cool restaurants and stores. Even though it’s still super crazy, it is a more relaxed type of craziness. There are lots of young people in the Village from young professionals to NYU students. I really love people watching in NYC. There is just such a variety of people in this city. It truly is a blend of cultures. Almost every person I sit near on the subway or pass on the street is speaking a different language, which I love! I always try to figure out what language it is – sometimes that is easier than others. The city is super welcoming (if you get past the fact that New Yorkers have 0 patience for tourists and slow people and bad bagels). Because the city is such a mix of people, I feel like NYC is a place where everyone can be him or herself without a question. It is a culture and place that embraces all types of people without judgement. Everyone who lives here seems to feels comfortable with the city. As I’ve spent more time exploring, I have started to feel more comfortable as well. The first couple weeks, I was incredibly overwhelmed by the subway, masses of people, honking, and the overall business and mass of the city. Sometimes I am still shocked by how quickly the subway can take me from Lower Manhattan to Grand Central, but, generally, I have gotten a lot more used to the pace of NYC.
It is truly an experience unlike any other to live here. I feel really lucky that I’ve be able to spend a summer here. It has made me much more adventurous and independent because I’ve been doing a lot on my own and creating my own space here. I’ve been doing so much walking around different neighborhoods and finding cool stuff. I found this store I’m obsessed with in Soho. It’s also in Chelsea Market and Williamsburg – so I’ve visited all the locations. Even though the city is huge, lots of neighborhoods are in walking distance from each other. In the West Village, I can easily walk to Chelsea or Soho, which is nice because you see a lot more when you walk. I’ve hung out in lots of museums and tried food at a ton of fun restaurants. One of my main goals this summer was to accomplish my dessert bucket list because this city is full of insanely delicious desserts. I’ve done a lot of it (including a peanut butter and jelly donut, which was so amazing), but I have some more places to hit in the next 3 ½ weeks! I also love musicals and have been getting super cheap nose-bleed seats, which is a treat. My favorite this summer was “Hello, Dolly.” One of the leads went to Michigan!! Go blue from Broadway! Even though I thought I knew this, this summer I have truly realized what a cultural and artistic place New York City is in this world. There is art everywhere – from musicals, to museums, to street artists, to incredible murals. Even window displays and coffee shops are fabulous here. It’s just a really cool place to experience, especially at this time in my life.
All that being said, I 1000000000% want to visit NYC again. With my family, friends, whoever. It’s a city that has something for everyone and it is so easy to have an amazing time. It’s wild and crazy and always moving, which is super fun for a summer in college; however, I do not think I’d be able to live here long term. It’s a little too busy for me. It’s so different than Nashville and Ann Arbor. Although I love it, I think, for me, it’s better for a vacation. I am so glad I have experienced living in NYC because I really do believe that it is different than living in any other place. Because of this, it’s so cool that I have gotten to be part of it all for a while and figured out my favorite places and learned how to navigate the city. It’s been very helpful to realize that I don’t want to live in such a huge city because it tells me something important about where I maybe would like to end up after college ( never leaving Michigan though). I feel like I’d probably do better in a slightly smaller and less insane place. Despite this, NYC is definitely one of my favorite places and I’m very happy that I now understand the city in a more complete way.