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OOO New York New You Guide Travel

A guide to embracing your inner New Yorker in 100 days

  • 5-min read

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Skyline of New York with the Empire State Building
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Your mindset during your first 100 days in New York: Fearless

So you did it! You moved to the greatest city on Earth with nothing but your hopes and dreams. Your family is judging you while your social media is booming with “Cheers to new beginnings!” posts. The sirens are loud, the city smoke is potent, and you’re filled with the energy of the big city. So now what? Well, don’t worry. A freelance writer is working to pay her New York rent in a Starbucks by creating for you the ultimate guide to the best experiences in New York — and that writer happens to be me. Are you ready? Let’s do this! Here is a list of things to do in NYC.  

Things to do in your first 10 days in New York

Buy the damn pizza and eat the damn hot dog

Do all the corny, touristy stuff within your first 10 days of living in New York. Why? Cause you’re not a real New Yorker. It’s too soon for you to be “too good” to eat a hot dog or debate why New York pizza is the best. Do your fair share of exploring before earning your stripes, young grasshopper. Now get the damn pizza! 

Have your “Gossip Girl” fix, go to Carrie Bradshaw’s house, and visit friends before you’ve made any yet

Again, you’re still a tourist, so be a tourist. Here are a few fun places in NYC:

  • Go to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum on the Upper East Side and have a “Gossip Girl” photoshoot. 
  • Make your way down to Greenwich Village in your Jimmy Choos (or heels from Zara), and see Carrie Bradshaw’s house. 
  • Make your way to the “Friends” apartment building and call an old friend. 

Go to Times Square and say goodbye

You read that right. Once you start living in New York City, like really living in New York City, you will avoid Times Square like it’s your ex. You’ll discover new inspirational parts about New York that will be way more meaningful. It’s time to kiss Mickey goodbye and move on to better things. Trust me—it’s for the best. 

Things to do in your first 11-30 days in New York

Buy a MetroCard and get lost on the subway 

Now that you’re going to live here, it’s time to figure out the subway system. Although we live in the glory days of Google Maps, it’s still important to know your way around the city independently. Get lost and find your way home. It’s the best way to figure out the subway system.

Tip: Never be afraid to ask for help. Despite people’s opinions of New Yorkers, most are friendly and will help you out.

Ride a Citi Bike

So you purchased your first MetroCard. You have it front and center in your wallet, so everyone knows you live in New York City — almost like a badge of honor. However, you’ve never been through train traffic, delays, or track maintenance, so hop on a Citi Bike and get those legs moving. Citi Bike is a great way to discover the city and get around (especially if you live in Manhattan). Download the Citi Bike app onto your phone and scan a bike. Skip train delays, have fun, and appreciate the city’s beauty. 

Sign up for ClassPass

Sign up for a ClassPass. It’s the best way to get a great workout and make friends. We would all love an Equinox membership, but it’s pretty expensive. A ClassPass membership lets you take different workout classes around the city. You can choose from several packages, and it’s easy to sign up. Check out their website and start your Class Pass membership now

Things to do in your first 31-60 days in New York

Have lunch In Central Park’s Sheep Meadow 

You may have met a potential friend from work or your Y7 workout class. You want to hang out while still keeping your New York rent in mind, so you set a friend picnic date at Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Sheep Meadow is the perfect hangout spot for friends, family, and even a day date. Enjoy your store-bought wine while people-watching, playing Frisbee, and admiring the view of Billionaires’ Row. 

Watch a movie in Bryant Park 

OK, I’m assuming you moved to the city just in time for summer and not in the dead of winter. Watching a movie in Bryant Park with a view of the Empire State Building is a magical experience. Get there early, bring your favorite picnic blanket, and claim your spot. The best part? It’s free. You can’t beat it.

Go for a walk at the High Line 

Enjoy the High Line urban oasis. This 1½ mile walk stretches along Manhattan’s most trendy spots: Hell’s Kitchen, West Chelsea, and The Meatpacking District. Enjoy the stunning views of Manhattan buildings while enjoying art vendors and food spots. Stop by the 23rd Street Lawn and get your tan on if it’s warm enough. 

Things to do in your first 61-90 days in New York

Embrace your First “F you!” 

Living in New York isn’t always about the glitz and glamor. Like any major city, you’ll face some hardships too. You’ll have days when a homeless person flips you the bird, a taxi driver yells for you to move out of his way, and someone curses you for walking too slow. They’re all part of the New Yorker experience. Recognizing these hardships helps build character and possibly your sense of humor. A New York “F you!” signifies you are precisely where you need to be. Embrace it. 

Finesse your way into Soho House 

I feel like we’re friends here, so I’ll be honest: I would do some sinful things to get into Soho House. There is a reason why Samantha went as far as posing as Annabelle Bronstein. In the words of Carrie, “New York is cool. However, New York in August is not cool at all.” Find yourself a Soho House member and never let them go. Keep them close. If they ask you to jump, ask, “How high?” Is this desperation? Not at all; it’s survival. All I ask is that you remember me when you get in. Promise? 

Master your b-e-c order at your local bodega 

There’s an art to ordering bacon, egg, and cheese at a bodega. First, you need to know exactly what you want. Practice your order in the mirror at least three times before heading out. Second, forget everything you learned about waiting patiently in line. It’s time you learn to lean in and state your order with your chest. Why? Because if you don’t own your stance in the bodega madness, it will own you. Order your bacon, egg, and cheese with confidence and pride. 

Things to do in your first 91-100 days in New York

Become the badass activist you always wanted to be

The best thing about New York is there’s always a protest happening. Walk with feminists for equality, run to raise awareness for breast cancer, or protest for Black Lives Matter. Protest offers you a place of acceptance. The best thing about New York: There’s a place for everyone, no matter race, gender, sexuality, or economic class. Get out there and protest for the things your small-town friends and family just didn’t understand. 

Take advantage of your local vintage shops

New York City has the best vintage shops. Here are a few of my favorites: 

  • The L Train Vintage in Bushwick and Williamsburg. 
  • Mr. Throwback in East Village.
  • Procell on the Lower East Side. 
  • Hamlet’s Vintage West Village. 

Gone are the days of praying to the fashion gods of one day affording Louis Vuitton shoes. Strut your stuff in your vintage fashion from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Nostalgia is the new moment, so be the moment. 

Get your New York ID and make things official   

Sure, you have a long way to go before calling yourself a New Yorker. However, you can start by getting yourself a New York ID. Toss your old ID representing the “small-town you” and embrace the “city you” that is forever changed — at least according to your social media posts. It’s time to settle into your new life and embrace all this city’s greatness.   

Living in NYC will be the best and worst time of your life 

There will be days when you feel alive, and there will be days when you question if you’ve made the right decision — and you have. Living in New York City will be one of the most memorable chapters of your life, and then it’s all downhill from there. 

Starting a new chapter of your life?

We can help. Read more of Smart MNE’s New You Guide, a collection of tips and explainers to start your new job, internship, or whatever on the right foot.