san francisco → new york 

I already mentioned in one of the posts that I was moving to New York. And yes, I have moved now. I came here directly from India. I have been so so so busy with the relocation. In the past two months, I had so much going on. I had so many different experiences; I wish I had enough energy to write them down. So, in this post, I will try to recollect everything and write how chaotic the past two months have been. 

So, how do I start.. umm.. let’s say I now know why New York is the greatest city in the world! And I understand why people love this city so much. There is so much already written about New York. But, I just want to write something I have experienced in the past month. 

I moved here from California. I had never visited New York before. I honestly wanted a change. I love going on hikes, but I can’t be going on a hike every weekend, right? I felt kinda trapped in San Francisco. Also, the whole Silicon Valley culture didn’t go well with me. Yes, I work in Software, and I enjoy my job, but I do not want to be surrounded by people obsessed with tech. 

People in San Francisco are very active; everyone is chasing the next big thing. I was probably one of them. But, the mundane 9-5 was getting to me. Maybe I wasn’t trying enough, but I did not find many interesting meetups. The restaurants were closing by 9 pm. It was getting unsafe to walk to SF downtown after 8 pm. I was spending my evening binging Netflix shows. I was most excited when my friend and I planned to visit an Indian restaurant. I didn’t have a car, so naturally, I was restricted in terms of places I could see. This might have to do with the pandemic, but I was tired of going on long walks on empty roads. This was my experience. Someone else might be experiencing completely different things at the same place. But this was me. 

San Francisco gave me my best friends. They are like my family. I did not want to leave them. Yet, sometimes you have to make certain decisions even though you are not sure if it correct. So you have to take that leap of faith. And that’s what I did. 

New York is chaotic. There is trash everywhere. There are so many people; you are constantly surrounded by people. They won’t leave you even if you want. You can be lonely, but you will never be alone in this city. 

You will never need a car in this city. It’s well-connected. Subways are great. The first time I traveled in the subway, I noticed every person in the cabin was different. People here are not obsessed with their AirPods or Apple Watches – they have their own unique style. You can never be “awkwardly dressed” in this city. You might feel underdressed/overdressed, but it does not matter – that is your style. No one’s judging! You do you!

There are so many meetups/events in the city all the time. And people actually show up here. So you can actually meet many interesting people by attending these meetups. There is always something happening in every corner – late night comedy show, Broadway show, music fest, food fest, concert, match, protests.

It’s pretty safe. I was returning from a party quite late at night, around 3am. I took the subway. It took me around 45 mins to reach home. But I wasn’t concerned. The subway was operational and had people even at that time. 

The food here is fantastic. And there are so many options… I feel overwhelmed. You can get food any time you are hungry here. 

People here are not rushing to reach somewhere; they just walk fast. I feel like everyone walks fast here; they just want to catch that subway / avoid that big line. And you get used to it once you visit New York. 

There are no traffic rules here. However, if you don’t jaywalk, you will be judged. 

Apartment hunting is a real pain. It is competitive. People are willing to beat your best offer for a small apartment. You have to decide quickly and sign those dotted lines, or else the chances of you getting that apartment lowers with every passing hour. 

There are tourists everywhere. You can spot them from a distance.  

This city is obsessed with itself. “I love New York” merchandise is everywhere 🤦🏻‍♀️

Unlike the popular opinion, people here are genuinely welcoming. They are not rude. At least I haven’t come across anyone like that. They are willing to help you. Just that, New Yorkers are straightforward; they cut to the point. No one believes in small talks here. There is just one rule – if you are in the line, know what you want; else, get on the side, decide and get back on the line. Don’t waste someone else’s time (with your slow walking or by staring at the menu for long) – that’s the bottom line for navigating this city. 

For me, this city captures the essence of the American dream. Skyscrapers, crowded sidewalks, the Wall Street, Times Square, yellow cabs, the MET, Trump tower, bagels, donuts, and the caffeine addiction – isn’t that the American dream after all? 

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