“I will never, EVER be able to live in New York City,” she tells her mom as they hop on an M-something bus with fingers crossed and hopes that they’re going the right way. She was visiting NYC with her mother – their tri-annual trip to the city where they ate, shopped, and saw theatre.
The routine was always the same, Boston South Station to New York Port Authority. Cab to Amy Ruth’s for waffles and chicken (or fish), and bus downtown passing by all the potential graduate schools her mother thought would be best.
“Are you sure, Maiah? How can you really block off an entire city?” her mother inquired, slightly fed up but mostly entertained.
“Because New York is not a place you go to for peace of mind. New York is a place you go to for shaking things up. Then, you go home and say ‘phew, glad that’s over’.”
Fast forward and here I am in 2010, a New York City resident of 2 years and 3 months… Oops. I still haven’t perfected the art of life in a city like New York, especially having grown up in Weston, Massachusetts (the smallest, cutest, quietest, most relaxing suburb ever). It definitely hasn’t been all smooth sailing either. After an incredible first 6 months, I lost my amazing job to the economy, I lost my then gentleman-friend to a horrible disease called Man Child Disorder, and I lived in a vermin infested apartment with a stripper and a nanny.
I was spiraling. It was around this time that I realized I needed to regroup and recoup. And this is when I began compiling the Suburban Girl’s Guide to Getting By in the City. It’s much too long for one post, so we’ll go subject by subject. Let’s start with one of the most important – the top 5 places I go to relax:
There is nothing better than going to The Strand or Borders (the one on 57th & Park) after work and letting the day’s foolishness just wash off my shoulders as I browse books. Of course, when shopping The Strand, it’s best to go with a few things in mind. That said, when it’s quiet and you have a whole section of books to yourself, what could be better than slowly perusing the book titles and cover art.
2. Hookah Bars
I love smoking a hookah with a cold beer and a good friend or four. My favorites are Horus on 10th & A and in Astoria: Cherry Cafe on Broadway & 34th and Soho Cafe on Broadway & 44th.
3. The Movies
There is nothing better than taking yourself out to an afternoon film. I personally prefer the Kaufman Astoria Theatre to some of those bed bug infested ones in the city (eek). I also feel very strongly about Kaufman Astoria for date night – there’s nothing better than taking in a late night double feature, especially when it involves a bottle of red snuck inside in my always oversized purses.
4. Early Morning Shopping
My saturday morning routine always involves waking up early, coffee and eggs, and early morning shopping (also referred to as “Field Work” by my mother). Sometimes, shopping in the city is UNBEARABLE with the crowds of tourists and pushy locals, but shopping anywhere before the hour of 10am is always a joy. Plus, there is nothing better than grabbing a hot coffee from your favorite morning street cart on a crisp and cool fall morning, and walking through your favorite neighborhood(s) as you pop in and out of your favorite stores.
Since I moved to New York, I have always gone home at the end of the night to Astoria. I like to maintain that I was forced to this sleepy little borough by Larissa, Mihal, and Dushane. Despite that fact, I love living here. To be able to come home at the end of a long day and retire to my cozy bedroom and take in the Manhattan skyline from my window makes living in New York worth every up and down.
What about you? What are your favorite places for regrouping in the busy city?