Hello and happy hump day from the Big Apple! I’ve been MIA the last few weeks since the move, but I’m back and here goes with my first blog post stateside. As I mentioned in my first ever post (which you can read here – biting the bullet), to live and work in New York City has been high on the bucket list for as long as I can remember, and with the deadline of my visa eligibility looming, it was now or never! I’m here 3 weeks on Thursday and to be perfectly honest, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I keep having to remind myself that I now in fact live here and won’t be packing up again next week. For those of you that aren’t aware, I’m currently on a 12 month graduate visa, which I plan to write a separate post on for those interested in doing the same. There, I’ll go into detail about the whole process, from the sponsor I went with, the interview process, to how to go about securing a job, an apartment, yadda yadda yadda! But for now, I thought I’d check in and share just some of the things that remind me why I came here and just how much I love this city, especially now that it’s ‘fall‘ here.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve been in absolute holiday mode since arriving last week. It’s been so nice to just chill and enjoy all the city has to offer before getting sucked in to the world of work. I’ve literally been roaming the city all day, every day. The first day I set off I actually managed to clock up 22km on my Fitbit – walking from 92nd St. in the Upper East Side down to Battery Park, at the bottom of Manhattan! This was partly because I was just enjoying the freedom of walking up and down different streets as I pleased and taking a nosey through alllll the shops (of course!), but also largely because I wasn’t quite ready to get lost on the Subway just yet! I’m also blessed enough to have family here in NYC and Jersey City, who have me spoilt. They’re adamant to show me the real New York, away from your typical tourist agenda, so I’m lucky to be getting the best of both worlds.
First up is the weather, and the fact they have actual seasons that differentiate from one another! Right now the weather is so perfect and still surprisingly very warm for this time of year. I’ve always been told autumn, or fall, is the best time of year to visit New York as the weather is just nice and now I can definitely agree. It’s so comfortable with temperatures between 18-25 degrees most days. Granted, there have been some sticky days, but nothing compared to the horrific humidity levels your almost guaranteed from a New York summers day. As much as I’m enjoying it, I’m also ridiculously excited for winter in New York. Snow days galore… here’s hoping!
They love their holidays! Right now there are Pumpkins EVERYWHERE! Pumpkin-spiced EVERYTHING and enough Halloween decorations to supply every house in Ireland! There’s something about New Yorker’s and their enthusiasm towards the holidays. Whether it’s Halloween, Easter or Christmas, they seem to go all out. At the minute every house is trying to out-do the last, which makes for some very pretty, and ghoulish snaps – which I’m totally ok with!
The skyline is actually insane! It just never gets old. Also, a word of advice – if you’ve never went over to Jersey City and looked across the Hudson at the skyline, you are seriously missing out! The PATH train takes all of 4 minutes from the World Trade Centre across to Exchange Place which leaves you at the waterfront to enjoy this ridiculously good looking skyline. By day or by night, trust me it’s so worth it (you can thank me later!).
The energy and never ending buzz. Although I’ve been here before and knew exactly what I was getting in to, I will admit I was slightly apprehensive as to whether I would fully appreciate the crazy pace that this city has to offer. I’m a very laid back person by nature and generally enjoy a chilled scene, but now that I’m here the energy and buzz has me so excited to get stuck in to work and all that comes with living in NYC.
The opportunities are endless. As big and scary as it is, it’s seem to be one of those places where someone always happens to know someone, who knows someone, who will ask someone if they know anyone that could put in a good word for someone!! Comprende? No but honestly, the opportunities are endless here if you can get out there and network. It’s something I’m getting stuck in to this week as I start job hunting – y’know, in hope of meeting someone, who might know someone, who……. you get the picture! 😉
The food is on a whole other level! From brunches and bagels, coffees and cocktails, to Shake Shack and $1 pizza slices – it’s a foodie’s paradise. And your waistlines worst nightmare! I have a list as long as my arm of recommendations to try, so I figure if I just save them for the weekend, live on fresh air monday to friday, it’ll be a piece of ‘cake’, right?!
The accessibility and conveniency of just about everything! Whether its 3pm or 3am, pizza or Panadols, it’s usually no more than a block away. Be it your local corner store, pizza place or Duane Reade PHARMACY (but that actually sells everything from shampoo to household utensils!), almost everything and anything is available 24 hours. And then there’s the subway, which allows for that one drink too many without having to think of a taxi or a back road home.
The diversity. Almost every second person you come across is speaking a different language than the last. But it’s not just the people, but the neighbourhoods and boroughs too. Each neighborhood is home to a different vibe and finish. Whether it’s a brownstone with a nicely decorated stoop, an endless block of shop fronts hidden behind NYC memorabilia, a graffitied wall exhibiting some insane artwork or a skyscraper towering the city, each neighborhood is impressive in its own right and appreciated for what it is. You can walk as little as 2 or 3 blocks and start to feel the shift in character. This is one of the things that I enjoyed most as I walked the length of Manhattan that very first day, going from one neighborhood to the next. (Although I will admit I might have walked quicker through some more than others!)
The fact you can very easily stumble on to a movie set.. or a tv show, like I did last week! Like literally, I had to be maneuvered off the set. Of course I hadn’t the faintest idea of who the actors were, nor what show they were filming, but still, you can imagine my excitement as I proceeded to snap the whole thing like I was their biggest fan! All I was missing was an oversized ‘I heart NYC’ t-shirt, and a Nikon hung around my neck. Tourist much?!
I could go on and on, but don’t panic I won’t! To round things up, I’m alive and well, and in love with NYC even more than I once thought. The wining, dining and playing the tourist has somewhat slowed down this week as I get stuck in to interviewing. I’m starting to properly settle in this week and feeling a bit more productive, hence this post. I even managed to drag myself to the gym yesterday for the first time in nearly 3 weeks! Between a family wedding, going away parties and then the move…. let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Moral of the story – if you’re planning a trip to New York, I 100% can’t recommend this time of year enough!
Ciao for now,