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New to New York City?  Unsure of how to start looking for an apartment? Curious about where you can start making friends?  For many of these answers, you can turn to New York City newbie, Mary Hilton’s blog.  She made the move to the city from Washington D.C. a few years ago.  Living in New York City had been a dream of hers for a while, and once she made the move she found that her friends and family were extremely eager to know how she was doing and how she managed to make all of the logistics of her move work.  In an effort to appease her friends and keep fellow “newbies” informed, Mary started a blog.  Newbienyc is an excellent source for NYC-centric How To’s, local events, and posts that remind you why this city is so great.  So whether you’re a native or a newcomer there’s something to learn from checking out this blog!   

Tell us about your blog and how you got started?

When I moved to NYC about two years ago, my friends back in DC kept asking about life here. So to avoid telling the same stories time and again, I started my blog. It really just grew from there. I started getting questions on specifically how to move here – find housing, make friends, etc. so I added some ‘how to’ info. And as my passion is arts, culture and theater, I also found myself an avid critic. The blog kept me sane while looking for work and having so much free time on my hands. 

What brought you to New York? 

I’d always wanted to live here, yearned for it. I had three major turning points in a short space of time – the death of my mom, the end of a relationship, and hitting 40. I realized that if I didn’t live my dream now, it would never happen. So I quit my job in DC, put my belongings on Craig’s List, and just became a New Yorker.  

What do you love about living in New York?

Certainly the excitement and the culture. This is a city that makes you feel alive every single day. The freedom to be truly, authentically yourself. But really, it is the people that make New York so extraordinary. 

What do you think makes a New Yorker?

The ‘f-you’ attitude of ‘this is who I am, take it or leave it.’ And an unabashed loyalty to and love of the city. 

What surprises you about New York or New Yorkers?

That at its heart, this city of 8 million really is a small town. There is a thread of connection that runs through all New Yorkers that is really quite extraordinary.

When you leave New York, what do you miss the most?

The noise, excitement, and ability to get ice cream at three in the morning. 

Best tips, tricks or insider info?

Accept every invitation without fail. You never know what you are in for. Someone may casually ask you to a gallery opening, and you find yourself among celebrities and your favorite artists. Go to an off-broadway show and you may wind up sitting next to the playwright. Most importantly, don’t be a wallflower. Talk to people, hear their stories, and connect. The only way to survive in this city is to have a personal and social network. 

Best corny tourist attraction that you secretly love?

I get a thrill every time I see the Empire State Building lit up in the skyline.  

Best place to dine late night?

Any diner. 

Best live music venue?

Cornelia Street Cafe. Or anywhere in Central Park in the summer.  

What’s the last cultural thing that you did?

The Peruvian movie ‘Oblivion’ at Film Forum, my favorite cinema in the city, followed by a walk around the Village for springtime people watching.  

Strangest/coolest NY experience you have ever had?

Being casually asked last-minute to a ‘little gathering’ at a Chelsea art gallery, showing up to discover a red carpet charity event where I got to interview Claire Danes for my blog. Again, accept every invitation, no matter how tired you are! 

Best area or neighborhood for fun on a budget?

The Lower East Side reminds me of the New York I fell in love with years ago. Raw in spots, there is an unbridled energy that has not been suppressed by chain stores or incongruous architecture. 

Best way to spot a trend?

For fashion, you’ll learn everything you need to know about coming trends across the country by people watching. Don’t fall into a dream state when walking to and from the subway, easy as it is to do. Look around, take in the people, and you’ll see patterns that will predict the next must-haves. 


What is the best advice you could give to someone who has just moved to New York City?

Post A Comment And Let Us Know!


  • By lisa – 11-16-09 at 1:11 pm

    i love what you wrote. i totally agree. i too came here after some major life changes and i also turn 40 in 1 month so here i am in nyc. great list here but what i don’t get is who wrote this? and where can i find her blog? where is this blog? i am confused, sorry. but again, great stuff. i love the Q&A!

  • By Cool in Your Code – 12-02-09 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Lisa, check out the top paragraph for your answer. Newbie NYC is written by Mary Hilton, a newcomer to New York who wanted to share her thoughts and findings on the greatest city in the world! You can find her blog here:


  • By Lea – 01-02-10 at 10:16 am

    My husband and I are newbies to NYC (Harlem) at the age of 60! Where do “old” people meet?

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around the blog

Habitually Chic

For the Habitually Chic Heather, inspiration and design are just two of the innumerable themes that can be found in abundance in both New York City as well as her blog.


New to New York City? Unsure of how to start looking for an apartment? Curious about where you can start making friends? For many of these answers, you can turn to New York City newbie, Mary Hilton’s blog. She made the move to the city from Washington D.C. a few years ago.

Socially Superlative

For those people who in High School just missed being voted the hippest, liveliest, or most fun person in the grade, there is now a new site for them to redeem their past social misfortunes.