Advantages of big city life


Hi friends!

Welcome back to another Friday Favorites!

Alright, so remember when I talked about my life in New York City? It occurred to me that between the long commute, weird diet, and bad paintjob, I sorta made it sound like my time in NYC was a never-ending string of disasters.

Sure, there were plenty of fails, but there were also some really awesome aspects too. Let’s talk about those! Here are some of my favorite things about life on one of the busiest islands on our globe…

Public transit. I definitely appreciate the abundance of transportation options to get me where I need to go. When I lived in NYC, I used each of the following at some point: Staten Island’s above-ground train, subways, bus, ferry, taxi, and private car. 🙂 This was before Uber existed, but if Uber was around, I would probably have used it too. I think I payed less than $80 per month for my subway card at the time. Anyone with a car knows that this is waaaay cheaper than monthly car expenses like gas, oil, maintenance, insurance, taxes, tolls, etc…

That walking life. Life as a New Yorker means walking a LOT. Few people have their own cars because cars just complicated your life by a hundred fold. It was totally normal for even the most sedentary desk-worker to walk several miles each day. And you learn pretty quickly to always carry an umbrella or poncho with you for those rainy days. If you like toned calves and being able to easily get your 10,000 steps every day, you will lurv NYC.

The grid structure. This one is slightly random, but I have to say that Manhattan’s grid layout was one of the cool things about the city too. I have lived in cities where the roads aren’t structured into a grid… it’s much harder to figure out how to get anywhere. (Of course, nowadays we all have GPS maps in our smartphones, but didn’t have that luxury over a decade ago!) The grid made it easier for me to get around without getting lost. There were only a couple times where I had to ask strangers for directions — sidenote, I was always pleasantly surprised that everyone was nice about it.

Night life. I’ve never been much of a night owl so I didn’t make it out for the night scene too often. But the few times I did, I found that the night life was everything I had imagined and more. I was invited to a couple events through my Public Relations job. I can honestly say that I was floored each time by the “bigness and brightness” of city nightlife. If you like getting dressed up for a night out, you will love the options the city has to offer!

Celebrity sightings. I felt like scenes for something or other were being filmed on every other block. Sometimes I would see a crowd gathering and snapping photos, and by some 6th sense I would just know there was a celebrity there. My brother once ran into Neil Patrick Harris on the sidewalk and shook his hand! And Wayne Gretsky came to my work. At least I think Wayne Gretsky was his name. It could have been another major hockey player (forgive me, I know nothing about hockey). He was shooting an ad for one of our clients, and all the girls in the office were besotted. <– yes I just used besotted…50 points for Gryffindor! 

Diversity. If you want to overhear conversations in 8 different languages on your commute, you should move to NYC. Every nation is represented in this melting pot of an island! Not only that, but people were so varied in terms of how they dressed, accessorized, and wore makeup. I had stepped into a much more adventurous and bold world compared to my little college life. It was refreshing to be around so many different types of people every day.

Food scene. I went to quite a few awesome restaurants around Manhattan. I was either meeting friends for happy hour, or going out for a work event. The food scene was incredible! You can find every type of cuisine at all hours of the day or night. Relatedly, I love everything about China Town! I’m half Singaporean and truly appreciate any type of Asian cuisine. I could eat Thai, Vietnamese, and Singaporean food at every single meal for the rest of my life. Since childhood, I have also been obsessed with red bean buns (dou sha bao) and pork jerky (bakkwa)!

Broadway. My friend got tickets to The Lion King from his company and invited me to go. It was such a fun night. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square before the show. That was my first Broadway show, and I absolutely loved everything about it. Our seats were so close to the stage. I was mesmerized from start to finish. My favorite scene is the opening number when the actors (dressed in very life-like and life-sized animal costumes) walk down the isle — captivating! In that moment, it struck me that people travel from across the planet to sit where I was sitting.

Free stuff. All summer long, there are free concerts at various spots in the city. It was fun being able to see big names performing! (The town where I live now also has free concerts during the summer, which is nice — but it doesn’t really compare…) There are also a number of museums, zoos, and botanical gardens that are free to the public. You don’t have to spend a ton if you don’t want to! As someone who lived in NYC when I was pretty much broke, I appreciated that there was always something free to do on any given day.

Shopping. I can’t say I did much shopping much during my stint as a New Yorker – after all, I was making an entry level salary. However, I can definitely say I did a fair bit of window-shopping and wishful thinking. There are endless places to spend a dollar in the city.

Check out my other Favorites:

What’s your favorite thing about NYC? 


108 thoughts on “Advantages of big city life

  1. You know NYC has been in my list of cities to go to. I really want to experience it. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Hope I can use it next year in New York.


  2. What an interesting post! I’ve always lived in some form of suburbia and consider city life a busy life…. filled with so much fun food! I love reading about the latest food trends, which tend to pop up in big cities. I’m from AZ and will be visiting NYC next March — any tips/advice? Thanks!


    1. You will not be disappointed in your visit to NYC! My honest advice for food is to consult yelp for reviews! Its how my friends and i discover all the best spots! Also, if you like Asian food, you should definitely check out China town! Can’t be beat! 😊


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