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A typical day in the life of a New York City local


I wake up to the sound of car horns blaring and construction workers shouting. I roll out of bed, feeling exhausted already. I’ve been living in New York City for six months now, and I’m still not used to the constant noise.

by Charlie Knifer as told to David Stone

for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

A Typical Day in the life of an NYC Local

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I stumble into the kitchen, start a pot of coffee, sit down at the table and check my phone. I have four new messages, all from my friends back home in California. They’re asking how I’m doing, if I’m having fun, and if I’ve met any celebrities yet.

I reply quickly, letting them know that I’m fine and that yes, living in New York is a lot of fun. But I don’t tell them about celebrities. Because, honestly, I haven’t met any. Unless you count that one time when I saw Kanye West walking down the street. But does that really count?

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I finish my coffee and get ready for my day. I have to be at work in an hour, so I need to get moving. I put on some clothes, brush my teeth, and head out the door.

The first thing I notice when I step outside is the heat. It’s already so humid and it’s only 9 am. I start to sweat immediately. I make my way down the street, dodging tourists and sidewalk salesmen. I swear, every day there are more and more tourists. They’re everywhere. But I guess that’s just part of living in New York City.

I finally make it to work and clock in. I’m a tour guide at one of the city’s many museums. And today is going to be a long day. We’re expecting a large group of schoolchildren later this afternoon.

I spend the next few hours leading groups of tourists around the museum, answering their questions, and trying to keep them from touching the exhibits. Some days I love my job, but today is not one of those days.

Finally, it’s five o’clock and I’m done for the day. I clock out and make my way back home. I’m starving, so I stop at the grocery store to pick up some food for dinner.

I cook a quick meal and then sit down to relax for the first time all day. I turn on the TV and mindlessly scroll through social media on my phone. I’m so tired, but I force myself to stay awake until at least 10 pm. Because that’s when the real fun begins in New York City.

The bars don’t close until 4 am here, so there’s always something to do. But tonight, I’m just too tired. So instead, I go to bed and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Charlie Knifer volunteered to share a typical day from his life as a New York local while it’s still clear to him, that is, before he’s further absorbed into the milieu.

Buy Charlie a coffee.

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