New York

Things to do in New York.

Live, Work, Create in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

“Live, Work, Create” sign in Park Slope.


It was my sixth time in New York but the first time I stepped back and thought, time and time again, “I could live here.” I could live in New York.

I really think it had to do with the advent of the smartphone, allowing me to be anywhere in the city and figure out anywhere I wanted to go.

Or maybe that I didn’t walk through Times Square once.

Or maybe that everyone I saw was up to something awesome: kite clubs, sideshow performing, backyard s’mores, launching a new company in a day. It’s the kind of place where I think everyone just makes something up and that’s what they are.

And I like that.

So much so that I texted my ex-boyfriend and told him we should move there together (he’s been saying he’s moving to New York for years…) I even found an apartment I could squat in. Because lord knows I can’t actually afford to live there.

I can hardly afford to visit.

If you’re going to New York or live in New York you too can start a new business in a day, join a kite club, or become a sideshow performer. Or you can do any of these things that I did…


Boardwalk beach at Coney Island.
Go to Coney Island. (And maybe see a hot dog eating contest?)


Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art
Spend a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.




Eat brisket and pie at BrisketTown. Because brisket. And because pie.


Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Wander around Williamsburg, Brooklyn…


$1 porn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
…and buy some $1 porn.


Photo in front of the Manhattan Bridge
Take your photo in front of a bridge…


Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge
…then realize that the Brooklyn Bridge is actually that other one.


Shake Shack
Wait in line forever at Shake Shack. Order everything.


The High Line in New York

The High Line in New York

The High Line in New York
Walk through the High Line, a 1-mile linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of a former elevated rail track.


Skeeball at Chinatown Arcade

Vampire teeth prize at Chinatown Arcade
Win vampire teeth playing games at Chinatown Arcade.


Walk across the Manhattan Bridge

Walk across the Manhattan Bridge

Walk across the Manhattan Bridge

Walk across the Manhattan Bridge
Walk across the Manhattan Bridge. It’s less crowded than The Brooklyn Bridge. And has more graffiti.


Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn, New York

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn, New York
Play shuffleboard at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club. Seriously, two different people took me to the same shuffleboard bar two nights in a row. It’s apparently the thing to do.


Salted Crack Caramel
Eat salted crack caramel ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery. Who doesn’t want their crack salted? (Though, honestly, I’d order something else next time. This flavor has twice the sugar as everything else. My teeth kind of hurt afterwards.)


$1 dumplings
Get $1 dumplings at Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown.


Eat noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods.


$1 dumplings
Eat maple bacon, carrot cake, and Cheetos flavored macarons at Macaron Parlour. Yes, Cheetos. But don’t leave them out while you’re gone from the apartment. A dog might eat your last one…


And promise it won’t be another three years before you return…

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Priya
    July 18, 2014at9:55 am

    DO IT! Move there! I’ve always wanted to live in NYC for a little bit, too. It’s where dreams come true, they say. 🙂

  • Heather
    July 18, 2014at10:01 am

    I was going to yell, “Wrong bridge!”. But then you fixed it. And I think I just saw my new favorite picture of us.

  • Jen
    July 18, 2014at11:45 am

    You should totally give it a shot. I can tell you moving to a city where you only know a few people can be really hard and lonely at first, but after you get past the 1st year and start to have a routine and your own life, it gets to be a lot of fun living somewhere new.

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