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25 Things I Learned My First Week Making Art in NYC


That moment when you realize happy hour drinks in New York cost more than full price drinks at home.

Getting around. Being nice when people are rude. Dressing practically. There are so many things I encountered my first week in New York that made me wonder, “why didn’t someone tell me it works like that?” I’m not sure if it’s true that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. But I do know twenty five more things than I did a week ago when I first moved to New York City (many of which I learned in embarrassing and or inconvenient ways). Here they are.


1. The city is divided into five boroughs that take further to travel through than you’d think.

2. My first week in the city, I walked over five miles a day. Either invest in quality heels, or wear sneakers and pack your pretty shoes.

3. L.E.V.A.I.N.

4. People aren’t mean just because they aren’t nice. And just because they aren’t nice doesn’t mean they’re not kind.

5. Not every elevator goes to every floor.

6. In Manhattan, the street numbers get higher the further north you go, and in Brooklyn, they get higher the further south you go.

7. Hardly anyone you encounter is a native New Yorker— everyone is from somewhere. Which means they were new once, too, and had to figure it out just like you.

8. Subway>bus>driving.

9. If you’re feeling lonely, do something nice for someone and sometimes it turns into a conversation.

10. The best way to bounce back from a bad audition is to immediately go on another audition. Keep a spreadsheet of where you go, who you meet and what you want to do differently. 

11. Some busses have kiosks where you pay your fare before boarding, others you pay on entering.

12. Pockets are the best fashion choice.

13. Call or see someone who knows and loves you at least once a week.

14. Not every subway entrance goes both uptown and downtown. Know where you’re going before you enter and pay your fare.

15. Compliment other girls when you’re fixing your makeup in the bathroom.

16. The city is crawling with artists. That doesn’t make what you do less valuable. 

17. There’s no service underground. Always have a podcast and a screenshot of your directions downloaded. 

18. Not every cafe has wifi.

19. Carve out time to be alone. Like, empty space alone.

20. Whenever you see grass, do a cartwheel.

21. There are so many dogs here. Smile at all of them. 

22. Just because In the Heights mentions JFK doesn’t make it the most convenient airport. 

23. Take out your headphones and stop to listen to street performers.

24. Most of the city is both disgusting and beautiful at the same time.

25. If Lincoln Tunnel traffic is getting you down, turn on the Elf movie soundtrack.

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