I lived in New York for seven years before leaving several years ago. While I loved living in the city, I was ready to leave and experience life elsewhere. Today I’m super happy to be living in Paris, but there are definitely a few things I miss about NYC! Here are the things I really took for granted while living in New York. 

Things You Take For Granted When You Leave NYC - Expat Diaries

24-Hour Conveniences

When you have a 3 am craving for ice cream, you’re pretty much out of luck in Europe. 24-hour convenience and restaurants are a rarity. In New York, they’re as ubiquitous as the yellow taxi cabs! 

Really Good Coffee

Ok, maybe I’m biased on this one, but I swear I’ve never had better coffee than I do in New York! I had almost forgotten what a really good artisanal coffee tasted like until I returned to New York, where one sip of a latte at Rucola sent me back to caffeine heaven! No foreign coffee can compare. New York coffee is truly the best in the world. 

Access to Local Information

In New York, I always look up the hours of any store or shop before going. If I need to call in advance, I can do that with the tap of a button thanks to Google Maps. In Europe, if you’re lucky enough to find a business on Google Maps, the information provided isn’t always correct. You will learn this the hard way of course like I did when trying to go to a grocery store three times before it was open.

On-Demand Services

In Europe, a few pieces of laundry can take up to 5 or more days to turn around. I’m not joking (Looking at you, Milan!). In NY, pretty much anything you want is available on demand if you’re willing to pay the price. Things outside New York move at a much slower pace. 

Food Variety

With just about every cuisine in the world represented, New York has one of the most diverse ranges of restaurants on the planet! Not to mention, if you know where to go, the cuisine is of the highest quality, too. 


New Yorkers tell it how it is. They’re blunt and direct, and after visiting countries where being overly polite and fluffy is the norm, you’ll soon be longing for New York’s efficient, straight-to-the-point talk in no time! 


New York is all about excellent service. Whether it’s a server in a restaurant or a hotel concierge, New Yorkers pride themselves on providing good customer service. There is a customer-first mentality everywhere you go which is seriously lacking in other parts of the world! 


I met so many people with a ton of ambition in New York. From starting their own companies to excelling in their careers, the hustle culture is real in NYC. If you are starting your own business, NYC is the place to be. The energy will rub off on you. The best thing about ambition is that it’s contagious! 

Prevalence of Trash Cans 

There are trash cans everywhere in NY. They are on every street corner times four. Literally. Ironically, there is still trash everywhere, but at least we know it’s not the city’s fault. 


It’s easy to miss NYC bagels. There’s just no breakfast in the world that compares to the fresh and famous New York bagels! Whether you eat yours with cream cheese, just plain butter, or a yummy sausage egg and cheese sandwich, you’ll never forget the happiness that comes from eating a New York bagel!

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