5pm vs. All-Nighters

19 Jul

Before moving to New York, I lived in Washington D.C. for about 3 to 4 months for an internship (it was actually my second time living in D.C. for the summer). D.C.’s work culture is largely influenced by the government’s schedule, and while it is perfectly normal to hear people shuffling around their desks at 4:59pm ready to go home, the same behavior would be frowned upon in New York.

D.C.’s 9-5 schedule has created an amazing happy hour culture, especially in the summer. You get invited to happy hours at work, you get invited to happy hours by the people you met at yesterday’s happy hour, you read about the best happy hours on the Washington Post and so on—the buzz is endless. In New York, however, the few happy hours I attended were later in the evening and did not carry as much buzz as they did in D.C.

Happy hour around Adams Morgan in D.C.

Before entering the New York corporate world, I was sure all-nighters were going to be something I only experienced when reminiscing about my college days. Little did I know that all-nighters and late nights were not a far-fetched reality of working people in New York City. The city moves at a fast pace and everybody seems to be in a frantic race to get somewhere and working hard and long hours seems to be the ticket there. Once you are caught up in this rhythm, leaving your desk at 5pm does not feel right.

My coworker’s picture of the sun rising at work…

Thankfully for New Yorkers, the city is still alive and sizzling later in the night when D.C. has already gone to bed–so there’s plenty of time to enjoy! Happy Hours usually happen in doubles, 4-8pm and a second round of Happy Hour from 11-1. New Yorkers work hard and play harder. You might not have met them at yesterday’s happy hour, but in the city that never sleeps, there is always someone, somewhere, who’s up for a drink.

Stay tuned for D.C. tips–my friend Rebecca will soon post on our “Visiting Voices,” and Mandy will give us a taste of outdoors summer fun talking about peach picking!



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