1. Headphones. I mean really now, do you think I could bear to listen to all the mundanely annoying sounds on this little island? As much as I love the city, I need some sort of shield of armor from the masses slash tourists slash undesirables.
2. A HUGE bag (preferably Louis Vuitton). Although my (new) apartment is a mere 2 subway stops away from my office, during workdays, I feel physically unable to leave for the day unless I have every single item I might possibly need during the morning, noon or early evening hours stuffed into a much-too-heavy tote on my shoulder. Seriously, I don't kid myself to think I could get through an entire 9-5, er I mean 9:30-6:30, day without the essentials inclusive but not limited to the following:
- Phone, iPods, & chargers for both of the aforementioned.
- 2 pairs of glasses. A girl's gotta switch up the eye accessories from time to time.
- Both heels and flats. I, after all, need to be able to run like a speeding bullet into and out of the subway like a true New Yorker and also then seamlessly transition from flying city rat to elegant advertising gal in heels.
- Checkbook. I really hate writing checks but you never know when you just might encounter a situation in which you need one right?
- Work notebook. Although I'm really uncertain why I continue to lug this heavy item home night after night only to have it sit in my enormous heavy bag, I continue to do it.
And I mean, there is always a chance I will get stuck at work until the late evening hours, in which case I might want to apply more make-up or wash my face or maybe even go straight to the gym from being antsty from sitting too long. So in that case, I need gym shorts and a third pair of shoes, which, might I say, really does the whole thing in. The sneakers take the bag from huge to a total ridiculous enormity.
That was a really long #2.
3. Sunglasses. This is inextricably linked to #1. If headphones are the audio suit of armor, sunglasses are the visual one. There is nothing worse than a day started by forgetting one's shades at home and being forced to be totally open for all the little Manhattan dwellers to stare at. I have been known to sport shades no matter the weather. #iwearmysunglassesatnight
4. A smartphone to bury your face in as you walk down the street to fit in with all the others in the rat race who almost get run over by cars, trucks and automobiles every morning and night. I mean, after all, we all just want to fit in right?
5. A metro card. Obvi.
6. The HopStop app. Please refer back to #5 for explanation.
7. Hobbies. Manhattan is possibly the smallest big city you'll find. But although its square footage is considerably less than most U.S. metro cities, it has the potential to eat you up and swallow you whole if you don't find your own space to carve out. And that space is NOT just your cubby or office at work -- it's that proverbial space where you feel content, at home and authentically you. Nothing will do that like doing something you love.
8. A sense of relativity. Anyone who lives in Manhattan knows that things here cannot be objectively evaluated. "A 500 square foot apartment for $2,500 a month? Amazing bargain!" "Wow, dinner and drinks for only $150 a person? Total steal." "$112 a month to get around on public transportation? Well, it could be worse." Word to the wise: do not share your "bargains" and "steals" with those unfortunate enough to live outside of Metro NYC. Who wants to hear the sobering truth of the outside world anyway. Seriously, though, friends, it's all relative. Even in Manhattan.