As someone who has lived in New York City for eight years, I’ve seen my fair share of people come and go. Each time they go through the same steps — tell their friends, sublet their apartment, plan a going away party and check off items on their NYC bucket list. There’s always that moment when they say “OMG I’ve lived in the city for this long and I have never done this!”
Well, I’m here to save you a whole lot of time by giving you this list of things you should do before you’re trying to jam in five or six years of “I wish I had done” into the two weeks before you move away from this concrete jungle we call NYC.
Btw, you’re welcome.
1. You have an unlimited MetroCard for a reason, use it and go to all five boroughs
If there’s one thing I’ve heard a million times it’s, “Wow I really wish I had gone to all five boroughs.” This is perhaps the easiest and cheapest thing to cross off your list. A MetroCard costs $2.75, and if you’re like me and live in the city, you don’t have to go that far to find a metro line that will take you to a different borough. Yes Staten Island is a borough, and yes the ferry is free. Plus the bars there offer very cheap drinks and Instagram pics from the ferry are priceless.
2. Spend an afternoon being a tourist and hit up all the major monuments
There are tons of people who have lived here all of their lives and have never been to the top of the Empire State Building , cruised over to the Statue of Liberty, walked the Brooklyn Bridge, or been to the Bronx Zoo. Swallow your pride, purchase a hop on hop off bus ticket and spend a Saturday exploring the city instead of chugging mimosas. Once again you’ll be surprised at how fun it is.
3. Fight through the crowds in Times Square and see a Broadway show
Yes they can be expensive, but there’s a reason that they are — they’re amazing. The best talent from all over the country wants to perform on Broadway, and chances are you’re just a metro ride and a couple hundred dollars away from seeing your favorite performer or some of your favorite songs performed live. The price may be steep (especially since you’re moving), but you only live once and when is the next time you’ll come back to the city just to see a show? Never, exactly so hop on it!
4. Go see a baseball game
You might not be the biggest sports fan but everyone wants to see the Yankees or the Mets. It’s a great experience and an excuse to go to the Bronx or Queens (check that off your list). The fans, the ambiance, the beer(s), the hot dogs, you get the point. Plus there are some super cheap and really fun bars around.
5. Spend an entire day in a different neighborhood
Every New Yorker is guilty about never leaving their neighborhood. As a proud East Villager, I rarely like to venture above 14th Street on the weekends, but some of the best times I’ve had have been when I decided to take the 7-minute L train ride to Brooklyn or venture to other (and less cool) West Village. You might just find something you like even better, meet some new people, and find an even better happy hour than the one you already always go to in your neighborhood.
6. Stay out all night
I know this is super cliché but it’s very interesting to see New York City at all hours of the night — the different types of people, the way the crowds change, the way the city changes. Visiting Times Square at 12 p.m. on a Wednesday is so much different that visiting at 4 a.m. on a Saturday. It’s during these moments that I really can appreciate the city, everything it has to offer and one of the reasons I have such a hard time leaving.