I got to go to NEW YORK CITY!
For an entire week!
This was a literal dream come true!
As many of you know, (though I have yet to officially announce it), but Trenton and I are moving to East Asia! However, before hopping on a plane and moving across the world to live in a city with 14 million people, our company wanted us to get familiar with city life.
So they sent us to Manhattan!
Our team, as seen above in the pictures, rented two apartments for the week. We had different assignments each day, such as mapping out our neighborhood, figuring our social layers, visiting religious centers, interviewing ch-rch planters, joining meetups with locals, eating at various restaurants, and a lot more. At the end of the week, we compiled our findings and Trenton presented them to a board of leaders.
We stayed in Midtown, and spent a lot of time walking, chatting with people, and eating delicious food. I literally hit 30,000 steps almost every day. In the mornings, I would get up and go for a run through Central Park, and I honestly felt like I was in a movie! Everything was so picturesque.
It was really cool to be there with an agenda, rather than just for vacation. It took the pressure off to “enjoy every single second”. And it was nice to take our time, figuring out how the avenues and street numbers worked, learning who lived in our neighborhood, and finding out about the history of our little corner of Manhattan.
As it turns out, we were in the LGBT section. There are more lesbians in our part of Midtown than anywhere else in America. It was really interesting to learn how the gay-rights movement in the 60’s started in East Village and the LGBT community eventually moved to Hell’s Kitchen where we were staying.
Our neighborhood also had lots of parks that the local schools used. At around three o’clock, the parks were absolutely flooded with young children in cute little school uniforms. According to some of the nannies I talked to on the playground, it’s really hard to get into schools in Manhattan because there is no zoning system, so most of the kids go to private or charter schools. I think it would be so cool to be a teacher in New York City, but, unfortunately. teachers don’t make enough in New York City to cover the cost of living there.
The average monthly rent for a small apartment is over $3000. However, the average wage in NYC is only $50,000 per year. The only reason people with that type of income can afford to live in Manhattan is because they have “rent controlled” apartments which means that if they started out paying $300 a month for rent back in the 50’s, and passed down the apartment to their children and grandchildren, their rent only increases about 1% per year so they are still paying super low prices on rent.
I told Trenton that if we ever come into wealth, I’m buying an apartment in NYC because it’s such a great place to invest. People will buy apartments and sell them for double, triple, or quadruple the price. I’m honestly kind of upset that none of my great great grandparents, who are all yankees, ever invested in an apartment in NYC. We missed out for sure!
One of my absolute favorite parts about NYC is how diverse it is! Every block is different from the next. There is Chinatown, Little Italy, the whole Time’s Square deal, Central Park, the Upper East Side, Hell’s Kitchen, the Financial District, and so on, with each area so different from the next.
Most of the pictures in this post were from our bus tour. My job required that we spend a day touring the city so we could get a layout of the island. It was a heated bus (thank goodness cause it was cold out!) and we visited the Rockefeller Center, the Twin Towers Memorial, had lunch at Market 55, took a water taxi from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, visited Strawberry Fields in Central Park, and ended in Times Square. This also happened to be the day my brother died, so I’m glad it was low-key day where I didn’t have to take a lot of notes- I simply had to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
I also tried NY pizza! Can you tell I was excited?! It was so good I stood back in line and got a second slice because one just wasn’t enough. This was off-the-street pizza, but we did go to a fancy pizza restaurant on another night, and it was even better.
The last picture is Trenton on the train to NYC- he was so excited we made a stop at Trenton, New Jersey on the way up. Ha!
Part 2 of my New York City trip will be more of a guide with things to do and places to eat. Make sure to subscribe by email so you can have it sent to your inbox!
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