Finding your way in a new city isn’t always easy. I came to New York City five years ago from a small, quaint town in California. I didn’t know the city, or anyone in it. And after all this time—through the cycles of friends, jobs, boyfriends, and opportunities—I’m still finding my footing. In a city like New York, some people never feel fully comfortable. And maybe that’s the thrill of it. But here are some tips and tricks to ease the transition.
1) Your Apartment
Don’t underestimate the importance of your living space, because the environment you come home to will make or break you. So don’t settle. Don’t settle on the roommates. Don’t settle on the apartment. Don’t settle on the location. Apartment hunting in a new city is the absolute worst. And while we all want to get it over with as quickly as possible, you might end up paying for it in the long run. No matter what your budget is, take your time until you find something that feels right.
2) Little Luxuries
Indulge in lifestyle luxuries that will affect your quality of life. For me, it was the gym. It took me years to finally get myself to pay the big bucks for a really nice gym. But these little things will increase your overall happiness and sense of “home.”
3) Inside the City
Everyone will tell you to explore a new city. And yes, you should! You should never stop exploring. But what’s equally as important, especially at first, is finding those neighborhood spots you love. Find “your” coffee shop, “your” pizza joint, “your” bookstore. It creates a sense of community.
4) Get Social
Over time you will make friends naturally, but it can be lonely at first. Not the type to make friends with the person next to you at the coffee shop? You’re not alone! Dating apps are actually a great way to get social when you don’t know anyone. Going on dates will get you in the mindset of getting out and socializing—even if you’re not looking for anyone “special”. But hey, you never know!
5) Trial and Error
It will take time to figure out what works for you. Maybe living uptown made you realize you want to live downtown. Or maybe getting a studio made you realize you’d rather live with people. It’s all part of the learning process, and even the worst of times are stepping stones to the best of times.
This post was inspired by a visit to 365 Bond, a brand new luxury apartment building in Gowanus, Brooklyn. From the untouched gym, to the freshly painted lobby, to the rooftop overlooking the skyline—everything about 365 Bond emulated a clean start in this city.
photos by Daniel Riley