You're dreaming of the Apollo Theater, Broadway lights, art shows at some warehouse in Brooklyn you'll never get invited to, sitting on the steps of the Met, eating a gyro at 5 a.m., drinking whiskey, drinking coffee, dancing and dining and meeting people and living and loving in NEW YORK CITY.
First thing's first: You must decide on a neighborhood from halfway across the world. Everyone's giving you advice and trying to tell you that you're a Clinton Hill kind of person or an Alphabet City kind of person and you're sitting here thinking, "Cool, but I have no idea what that means."
So you finally settle on a neighborhood near your new job or school and a friend mentions that you should try and live near the ABCDEFM trains and you're like, "Wow. That's a lot of trains. What do I do with this information?"
You then try to Google Maps ABCDEFM and get no closer to ultimate New York City transportation knowledge.
Now you need to find an actual apartment that is cheap, safe, relatively nice and will at least fit a full bed because you're a goddamn adult who deserves to sleep on a full-sized bed.
A quick Google search comes up with a terrifying array of insane articles about brokers, credit scores and scam horror stories. And now you're terrified and breaking into a cold sweat wondering, "WTF is a broker?"
Back to the apartment. Let's find a roommate now. One who won't kill you. Or skip out on rent. Or leave weird s**t in the sink. Or the bathroom. Or anywhere. And who has a very quiet or nonexistent sex life. And who doesn't enjoy music or loud noises, but is totally tolerant whenever you enjoy any/all of the above. No problem, right?
You finally find an apartment and a less-than-sketchy roommate and it does not look like this photo because you cannot afford an apartment that has this fantastic rooftop terrace complete with beautiful, smiling people.
But you have a place. In New York City. And it's all yours.
The day of the move is drawing near. It's time to pack. Since you're flying, you can only bring two suitcases. Just two suitcases. That'll be fine. This is fine. Just kidding, what the hell are you going to pack?!
Black jeans, black shirt, black shoes. And your computer. And your sunglasses. And your books. And your favorite mug. S**t. There's not enough room.
It's the week before the move and suddenly you remember hearing about all those horrible blizzards in New York and the humid heat waves. What if there's another hurricane? What if you melt onto the sidewalk? Does your apartment have AC? Did you even ask?!
You desperately wonder what the hell you are thinking leaving everything you've ever known for a city that does not give a s**t about your well-being. You are in a full state of panic. Is this the wrong decision? Are you going to massively regret this?!
But you get off the plane and take a deep breath. It smells strange, yet oddly familiar and comforting. You figure out how to take the train to your new apartment and, after getting lost just twice, you unlock the door.
It's tiny, it's hot, it's intense, but you are home.