10 Times Drake’s Hotline Bling Was About Life In New York

#1 When winter is coming and you have to learn how to walk in the snow all over again

#2 When your Dominican friends plan a Washington Heights night and you have 3 days to learn how to dance

#3 When Seamless texts that your food is on the way

#4 When you realize bed bugs are taking over your life

#5 When you are drunk on the train and fall asleep on the person next to you

#6 When Times Square rappers try to sell you a mixtape

#7 When you need a ride to another borough and find an Uber code

#8 When something drips on you while walking and you are praying it’s AC residue

#9 When you beg the cab driver to take your drunk friend in

#10 When that Shake Shack vibrator bling and that can only mean one thing

More New York Realness on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

Advertisements

15 New York Rookie Mistakes

When you move to a city as effervescent as New York, no one is here to hold your hand and teach you how to belong. Here are a few things to avoid if you want your social life to be on the right track while staying mentally sane:

#1 Go to Times Square

You are only allowed to go to Times Square during the first week of your New York adventure, stare at the overwhelming billboards, realize it sucks, then leave and never come back.

#2 Buy wine at the grocery store

Europeans easily fall into that trap because at home, we find decent and cheap wine at any supermarket. That’s not the case in New York, so don’t mistake that “Chateau Diana” crap for wine. If you don’t want to be that asshole who brought “wine product” at a dinner party, go to an  actual wine store.

#3 Play It By Ear On New Years Eve

I can only think of three things that are acceptable for New Years Eve in the City: Throw a party at your place, go to a friend’s party, or leave town. But if you absolutely want to go out and spend 10 times the amount you would on a regular night to be with a bunch of tourists, make sure you have a plan and stick to it, which means buy tickets to an event way in advance and don’t even think about bar hopping.

#4 Think Harlem is unsafe

Not only it’s incorrect, but assuming that Harlem is dangerous for anyone other than Black people will make you sound like an ignorant idiot. Get over your century old stereotypes and go explore one of the most vibrant parts of Manhattan (Yes, Harlem is in Manhattan and is not its own borough.)

#5 Skip the air conditioner in the summer

Speaking from experience here. Summer in my uptown apartment without AC was like living in an oven. You can find AC window units for $100 and it will save you a great amount of fans, showers, ice cubes and Ben & Jerry’s.

#6 Assume you can eat the same things here

This is for my fellow international people particularly. Wherever you’re from, food in your home country can’t be as bad as in America. Even if you are already the healthy type, you can’t expect to maintain your weight with the same exact diet you’ve had for years because food is just different here. I had to give up on dessert for lunch after contemplating the damages of my first six months in New York.

#7 Try to get a cab on Halloween

Just like New Years Eve, it’s better to have a plan on Halloween. Know where you’re going and don’t think you can spontaneously crash another club or bar that easily. It’s impossible to find cabs on Halloween and Uber jack up the fares. But it’s actually fun to be on the train with Elsa from Frozen, Jabba The Hut and Beyonce all at once.

#8 Think Brooklyn is cheap

Again, google “gentrification.” Going out in Brooklyn might be a little cheaper than most of Downtown Manhattan, but living in Brooklyn doesn’t necessarily mean affordable rent. If that’s what you’re looking for, just forget about Williamsburg, Dumbo or Brooklyn Heights and prepare yourself to go further away from Manhattan.

#9 Pay to get into a club

This one right here goes out to all my sexy ladies in the club: know your worth! Besides from gay venues, no club owner wants an all-dude type of crowd. Did you know that some New York clubs actually pay women to come and party? Unless you are the only girl with a group of bros, you should always be able to not only get in for free, but have a few drinks on the house while you’re at it. Gentlemen, the struggle is real for you, but remember that small groups always help.

#10 Hope to get authentic Italian food in Little Italy

Just because a restaurant has the kitsch panoply of what Americans think Italy is doesn’t mean you should eat there. This is usually a “tourist trap” alert. Little Italy is like the Disney World of food. The neighborhood does have hidden gems like the amazing Piacere, but you need to step away from the main restaurant row on Mulberry Street. I also love Aroma Kitchen & Wine Bar in Nolita and In Vino in Alphabet City. Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is considered the real Little Italy if you feel like exploring other boroughs. Buon appetito!

#11 Underestimate the power of delivery

I’m not sure why I waited 2 years to order groceries from Fairway instead of walking ten blocks to go there and only be able to carry three bags back. But what I know is I am never going back. Food, groceries, dry cleaning…you can get delivered for pretty much anything in New York for the price of the cab ride you would probably end up getting anyway, so enjoy it!

#12 Worry about your appearance

Whether you look particularly slutty to go out on Saturday night or a complete mess in the Starbucks line on Sunday morning, here’s the thing: no one gives a shit! It’s New York, there are fabulous and crazy looking people everywhere so people stopped caring. No one is hear to judge you because everyone is guilty at some point.

#13 Think St Paddy’s Day and Santacon are cool

I don’t want to offend anyone here, but I just think St Patrick’s day and Santacon are the worst. What are we celebrating exactly? Irish people? Drunk Santa? Since when New Yorkers need excuses to go out and party all day? They don’t and can do it on any given day of the year, which is why most of the people out those days are not from the City. Next.

#14 Believe that The Hamptons rock

Will I go to the Hamptons if I was invited to a friends’ house and given a ride there? Absolutely! Do I want to pay the price of a week in Costa Rica to spend a long weekend 3 hours away from New York and run into people from work on the beach? Nope. The Hamptons can be fun if you find a great deal, but don’t forget there are so many other quick get aways from the City including Miami, Charleston, New Orleans or the Caribbeans.

#15 Only go out on weekends

You are in the most exciting city in the world. Don’t wait until all the tourists and bridge and tunnels get to New York over the weekend and make the City a mess to experience nightlife. New York isn’t named the City that never sleeps for nothing and there are plenty of ways to have fun on week days too.

 

More New York Realness on Facebook & Twitter

 

 

5 Things You Should Know While Visiting New York

Any foreigner takes the same pledge the day they move to the City: thou shalt show a good time to every single friend visiting you. I am no exception to the rule. I’ve definitely been missing in action for the past couple of weeks, but I have the ultimate New York reason for it: first time visitors!

In ten days, I feel like I got a complete tourist experience with my guests: I went to a Brooklyn Nets game, Motown The Musical, Top of the Rock, a Gospel mass in Harlem, and ate out every single night. If I didn’t have to work during the day, I would have felt on vacation myself.

So while it’s still fresh, I thought I’d share some “Hustler in Heels” advice with those of you planning a trip to New York:

#1 You can’t see everything

Even if you are in New York for a good amount of time, there will always be something that you are going to miss and it’s okay…just make your peace with it. Sight-seeing is one thing, but walking around the City and making random discoveries is EVERYTHING: “Oh my God, this is where Big and Carrie went on a date in Episode 5 Season 4!” Of course, some touristic spots are really worth it – I would put the Brooklyn Bridge at the top of my list – but if you spend your whole trip chasing the next attraction, you will miss the “real” New York. So instead of waiting in line for two hours at the Empire State Building, why don’t you save your time and money and go to a rooftop bar like Jimmy’s? On top of a breathtaking view, you will sip delicious cocktails and won’t be surrounded by tourists. Just a thought…

#2 Travel guide books will only get you so far

Travel guides are definitely helpful, especially when you don’t have Wifi access while you are out and about. But remember that whatever Lonely Planet or Routard suggested – it was also recommended to thousands of others. If you stick to guide books, you should expect a line everywhere you go, and not just any line…a tourist line! The only constant thing about New York is change, and a guide that is published once a year can’t really convey that dynamic. By the time it gets in your hands, that so called must-go restaurant may have changed owner, chef, or scene. The web is your best friends when it comes to picking the perfect event, brunch place or plan a fun night out. Use the same websites that New Yorkers swear by: Yelp, Time Out, or the Gothamist…and you should be good.

#3 Fast food doesn’t always equal junk food

Just because McDonald’s or Burger Kings are American doesn’t mean that they are part of the New York experience. For one thing, McDonald’s is better in Europe, I don’t know how to explain it, but every single friend who tasted it in the US confirmed it was garbage. Most importantly, New York is the ultimate city for Foodies and there are so many ways to eat cheap and fast quality food if you are on a budget or on a schedule. Whether you have a crave for bagels, burgers, dumplings, or pizza…New York can feed it to you! For a fast yet delicious meal, try Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, Mamoun’s falafels, Asia Dog, Shake Shack, or Naruto‘s authentic  ramen.

#4 Follow the New Yorkers

The presence of New Yorkers is a great indicator of the level of interest of a place. The amount of options in the City can be confusing for first time visitors, but the people of New York pretty much tested everything already, so following them can save you a lot of time and guarantee the fun. For example, The High Line might be a famous destination for tourists, but you will also find a lot of  locals in the summer time, enjoying a cold Newyorkina popsicle and catching some sun – unlike Times Square, that 99% of New Yorkers try to avoid. Don’t get me wrong, it is a must see destination despite the chaos that comes with it, but it’s not the most enjoyable area where you should hang out if you want to get a good feel of the City.

#5 Being alone in New York City is underrated

One of my theories about New York is that the best things happen when you are hanging out by yourself – or as I like to put it… WITH yourself. New Yorkers are easy to talk to and making friends with the person sitting next to you at the bar is not unusual. When you are traveling with a group, it can be difficult to experience that, so don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone! While your friends or family are on that 2 hour walking tour, why don’t you get lost in the City? Pretty much all Manhattan is safe for anyone and you can’t actually get lost because of the way streets intersect. From start up founders to Palestinian refugees, I met the most interesting people when I was wandering around New York, because being alone allows you to be open and connected to the environment around you. It’s up to you…

More New York Realness On Facebook and Twitter

10 Times Beyoncé Helped You Deal With New York Life

Because no one else is schoolin’ life better than Queen Bee herself…here’s some advice we can all use when life gets New York tough:

#1 When you wake up and get ready to face the concrete jungle 

#2 When tourists ask you which way Times Square is

#3 When the Starbucks barista misspells your name 

#4 When you’re having a ladies’ power lunch

#5 When someone is messing with your money and there’s really no right way to say it

#6 When people think they can cut you in the Shake Shack line

 #7 When your friends invite you to the Meatpacking 

#8 When you run into the guy you date while he’s on another date

#9 When your friends are flaking on you because it’s raining or snowing

#10 When the door guy at the Box doesn’t believe you’re over 21 

 

More New York Realness On Facebook & Twitter