There’s no doubt about it: New York City is one of the best places in the world. A tourist may know it as The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, and a destination that has the most amazing bagels and pizza. However, for millennials who call it home, they know the best things about living in NYC that can’t really be included in any travel guide. NYC is filled with endless opportunities, Instagrammable moments, trendy restaurants, unique activities, and wonderful people that make it a prime place to live in your 20s.
I lived in NYC for seven years, and to be honest, they were the best years of my life thus far. Those iconic tourist shirts are correct, and I really do heart NYC. On any given night, I could be eating amazing food, catching an incredible musical performance on a subway platform, seeing a Broadway show, or window shopping while taking a stroll in the East Village. Every day had a different adventure, and I loved it so much. Even though I’m located in LA now, I’ll forever dream about these nine things that make NYC so magical.
Whether you’re looking to make the move, or already call this great city your home, you know how the Alicia Keys lyrics go: It’s the "concrete jungle where dreams are made of."
What I miss most about NYC is the food. On any given day, I could enjoy a slice of the greatest pizza ever, sip (and Instagram) a frozen hot chocolate, and snack on my favorite cookie in the entire world: a chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery.
It’s a foodie’s dream come true to live in New York City. You could even just run to the closest bodega on the corner, and somehow walk out with bags full of delicious treats.
There’s always something going on in The City That Never Sleeps. Even on weeknights, your favorite band could be playing in Brooklyn, you can catch a rooftop movie, or your favorite comedian could be performing. The fun never stops, and you can make every day a new adventure.
When you’re in NYC, it feels like you stepped through the screen and are living your best Gossip Girl or Sex and the City life. My favorite movie of all time is You’ve Got Mail, and walking the Upper West Side always felt like I was living like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
I grew up without seasons, so moving to NYC was a huge transition for me. In the city, you can enjoy every season, and every season is a character of its own.
My favorite is the fall when the trees change from green to hues of orange and red, and you can walk to work with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. The summer is also great when you can spend your afternoons lounging in Central Park, and hit up rooftop bars for happy hour. Spring is when everything comes to life, and winter instantly puts you in the holiday spirit with the beautiful decorations and snow.
Most places shut down around 1 a.m. — but not in NYC. You can go out dancing all night long with your besties, then have your pick of 24-hour diners or dollar pizza joints for a snack. If you’re a night owl or an early riser, New York City is always game to hang out.
I’m coffee-obsessed, and cannot go a day without at least one latte. If you’re also in love with your cup of Joe, you know that on just about every corner of NYC, there’s a cafe. There are the chains, and many cute shops that have fun-flavored lattes and cute pastries throughout the city, too.
The drive and hustle in the city is real, and it can rub off on you. Surrounding myself with motivated coworkers and friends who were crushing it, only made me want to be the best version of myself, and shoot for the stars.
You can really showcase your personal style and brand in New York City. You can pick up on the coolest street style trends that pique your interest, and express yourself in whatever way you please.
It may be a massive city, but there are so many hidden gems that quickly make you feel right at home. The little cafés in your neighborhood that you frequent on the regular, the adorable bodega downstairs (where you’re besties with the owners), and your favorite pizza place all contribute to why this city holds such a special place in your heart.
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