You’re one of the lucky ones. About 8.5 million of us live here in New York City, and we’re the ones who get the best of everything: From the best pizza to the best opera, New York City has stuff that’s the envy of the country and, in many cases, the world. And while New York City isn’t without its drawbacks, it’s an awesome place to live.
But are you making the most of it? Whether you’re living in New York City for six months or have been here all of your life, you owe it to yourself to get everything you can out of living in the capital of the world. To that end, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips for maximizing your New York City experience. Here’s what you need to know.
New York City offers you a lot of ways to get around, including an (often) impressive subway system and countless yellow cabs and ride-hailing service cars. But here’s a tip for getting to know your city better: Walk.
Walking will give you a sense of place and direction. You’ll have more time to notice things, and you’ll be more likely to stop in at a restaurant or a bar that just might be your new favorite. New York City is extremely walkable and, in most areas, safe. So get out there and explore.
Be a local and a regular
You can criss-cross this big, beautiful city of ours and find top-notch things to eat, drink, and do all day and all night. You could eat brunch at a Brooklyn hot spot, get great ethnic food in Queens for lunch, and then stop at one of Manhattan’s fine restaurants for dinner. But — in addition to the fact that this would be expensive and sounds, frankly, exhausting — this wouldn’t really make you feel like you live here.
Living in New York City means living in a neighborhood, so get to know yours. Deciding on the best pizza place in your neighborhood is a more important decision than casting your vote for the best in the entire city. Get to know your neighborhood, and come back to favorites again and again. That’s more important than checking off every hip spot in every faraway neighborhood (though you can do that, too, as we’ll see in a minute).
Make a bucket list
New York City has a lot of great things that you’ll want to do over and over again. But it also has some of those experiences and places where one try feels like enough. Plus, you won’t find the over-and-over-again places without trying them at least once in the first place.
With so many places and experiences to check out, here’s our advice: Make a list of all of the stuff that you want to do before you leave New York City. A “bucket list” will help you organize your plans and remember the things that you wanted to check out.
Care for your mental health
New York City is great, but it’s not perfect. The lights, noise, and lifestyle can wreck your sleep. The work life is brutal. The many strangers can be fascinating, but also horrifying. Urban life can be tough on your mental health — which is why no New Yorkers should be ignoring their mental health needs.
The therapists in manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island are among the best in the world, and they can help you with everything from job-related stress to serious and chronic mental illnesses. You don’t need to have a diagnosed mental illness to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of therapy, so do yourself a favor and get the care that will strengthen your mental health and help you be happier, healthier, and more productive.