As a lifelong Philadelphian, street smarts, a natural appreciation for grid planned cities (please explain to me why anyone would lay out streets any way besides perpendicular?), and a general laxness about jaywalking were already well engrained in me by the time I arrived in New York City for the summer. However, as much as I love my hometown, the two square miles that encompass the whole of downtown Philly can't begin to prepare a person for the monstrosity that is Manhattan. Through my morning commutes alongside herds of interns motivated by their new resume additions, Subway rides to the West Village in a quest to fill my Instagram with more aesthetic desserts than acceptable for any white girl, and river to river runs to justify said quest, I have picked up on those few little tips that one can only learn from experience, and I am here to share them with you today! Sorry boys, but these tricks and tips to city livin' are just for the ladies who have their own special place in NYC's heart.
What's so wonderful about tip #1 is that you don't have to even be looking for this piece of advice in order to receive it! This one goes out to all of us gals with resting bitch face, or really any resting face at all.
Tip #1: "Smile More"
As the saying goes, New York is full of the happiest and most friendly people on earth, so sporting a natural ear to ear grin is pretty much expected for all of her great inhabitants... err great female inhabitants. Ladies, you're much prettier when you're smiling, and when getting from point A to point B we all know the end goal is to exude prettiness to our surroundings! So turn that frown upside-down, because if you don't, chances are the man who resides at Lafayette and 3rd will remind you to.
Manhattan is an island that is ever evolving. The skyline is forever being added to and once unvisited streets are constantly turning into retail and residential hot spots. But all of this growing up and out couldn't be done without the hard work of New York City's construction crews that line many a busy street and intersection. This next tip ensures that this great city can continue to flourish without limitation.
Tip #2: Don't be a distraction
As women, we've learned by now from years in our school systems that our bodies are vehicles of great distraction. Breasts, buttocks, thighs, heads, shoulders, knees, and yes, toes, constantly put our male counterparts at risk of diversion. Many morning commutes have taken me along sidewalks lined on either side with those hard working men whose poor heads cannot help but follow the pitter pat of my sandals on the cement. With New York temperatures breaking records it can be natural to want to indulge oneself in breezy sun dresses or skirts for work, but from experience I can confidently say that a floor length bathrobe and wide brimmed sun hat are the best ways to ensure that New York continues to prosper as an urban hub.
The most frustrating time to spend a summer in New York has got to be the months just shy of your 21st birthday... or so I thought. While the local club and bar scene are notorious sticklers for fakes, the dating scene is open to all!
Tip #3: You're never too young to have fun!
In NYC you're always meeting new people, and lucky enough, this often won't require any effort at all on your behalf! As a woman of the city, take a train, walk a block, or spend a few minutes on a park bench and a young man is soon to introduce himself before you know it! As someone who personally doesn't usually engage in activities with men who approach me, I wouldn't want to waste a minute of their time, and thereby resort to politely informing these suitors that I am of the ripe age of 16 before the conversation escalates too far. While in other cities this line has disappointed and scared of new male companions, you'll be surprised and pleased to learn that in New York my announcement has yet to fend off any new friends! Sixteen shmixteen, I still have tits, right!
This last piece of advice is one that I hope women everywhere can carry with them on their journeys through life, for it is love that makes the world go round.
Tip #4: Open your heart to love
Too many times I've watched on as women are approached, talked to, or applauded for their beauty by men who are met with harsh exclamations to "leave them alone" or "fuck off." Wounded as they are, these young men clearly have been raised to never give up, and give their tactics another go with the next female to walk by. But these high spirits can't be sustained forever, and it's time for us women to open our hearts to love. We can be better than the generations before us who rarely boast love stories about how they met their significant other when he yelled " Nice ass, sweetie!" That can be your love story! It's time to get over our self -loathing and finally allow ourselves to swoon when gifted with the compliments we truly deserve!
I hope you take these words of wisdom to heart and always remember that New York City is a place to be your prettiest, most reserved, most loving self!