10/23/2013 08:50 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Six Moments Every New Yorker Experiences


When New York is good to you, it's good to you. And when it's bad, it's absolutely awful. This city can get you high and crash you, all in the same day - and you actually come back for more.

But no matter which side NYC hands you today, there are six key moments every New Yorker experiences. Journey along these ups-and-downs, while remembering your own.

1. The Adventurous Date Moment

You've met someone, and whether it's the first date or the 20th, you've settled down into a chair at a restaurant or bar for another chance to get to know this person. Fast-forward 10 hours, and your evening has torpedoed into this unexpectedly magical night of running around New York, drinking and eating from one bar to the next, discovering tiny parks and cobblestone alleyways to roam, and talking to strangers with a brazenness that's euphoric. It's a night of surprises, and you're unsure whether you're falling for this city or this person, but it doesn't matter. When you go to bed that night with all the shivers of feeling alive, you realize that this is a moment that will stay with you forever.

2. The Networking Moment

You're sitting on the subway, at a show, at a party, and you end up talking to the person sitting next to you. Five minutes in, you realize this person is the Number One Person Who Can Help Your Career In This World. And just like that, you're struck with a glowing vision of you at your happiest and most successful, all a result of meeting this Very Important Person. You exchange emails, think your life is changed forever, and never hear back from them again.

3. The Skyline Moment

It's sunset, and you're standing on the rooftop or patio of a tall building, marveling at the skyline. You look across the city and realize every single building in New York has a rooftop, and each rooftop has its own little world, filled with shrubs, and water towers, and even, sometimes, chairs. "This is my home," you think. "I'm actually here. How lucky am I." And you start to feel really stinking proud of yourself and all you've accomplished to get you to this point where you're standing on the rooftop of a tall building, looking out at the city. And you feel really great -- until you pay $10 for a beer and leave your phone in a cab.

4. The Novelty Moment

So you've read in Time Out, New York Mag, and Yelp about "this dish" that combines "this commonplace ingredient" with "this other commonplace ingredient" to form a menu item that's "never been done before." It's about as novel and as strange as it gets. (Perhaps it's called the Cronut or the Ramen Burger.) You go to that restaurant/food purveyor and realize the wait on the line is at least 40 minutes to two-hours long. So what do you do? You wait on that line. If you can breathe and have functioning feet, you wait on that line. And whether that first bite is exquisite or underwhelming, the experience is truly what you came for.

5. The Lost Moment

It's a weekday evening, and you're walking through one of the city's most crowded intersections, when you're suddenly hit with absolute despair and loneliness. It's as if a truck just drove by and threw a newspaper-wrapped brick at your head and kept on driving. You ask yourself what you're doing here, and if you did this all wrong, and how you can feel so lonely when surrounded by thousands and thousands of people. And since you don't have the answers, you just keep on walking.

6. The Simple Moment

It's a sunlit, warm, divine day in NYC, and you decide to take a walk. You meander along the Hudson River, pass the fountain in Washington Square Park, sit on a bench in Tompkins Square, and even make it across the graffiti-covered Manhattan Bridge. The sun is suddenly setting, and you ask yourself, "What did I do all day?" And when you realize that all you really did was walk, look around, and observe the changing city for five hours, you're struck that you're living in the only place in the world where that's so, completely, enough.

This post originally appeared on This Is Why I Love New York.