Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Forgotten Charms

As it turns out, in my time away from New York I forgot about some key aspects of the city, some good, some not so much.  Perhaps it isn't so much "forgot" as "resensitized."  Living somewhere else and then returning simply highlighted the differences. Here are a few of my re-observations on my beloved city:  

- How truly wonderful and amazing bagels are.  They’re just better in NYC.  Don't ask me why, it's just a completely objective fact.  And please don't ask me to tell you how many I ate that week, it's kind of embarrassing 

- How expensive everything is.  $3.97 for a quart of orange juice?  Going to the movies costs $13? Puhlease.  And a "cheap" dinner for $25?  Right.  I'll pass on that characteristic

- The beauty of walking for five minutes and hearing as many languages spoken around you in that time.  New York is truly a multilingual city, and it makes my world-traveler heart happy

- How incredibly outrageous some of the clothing is that people wear.  I know it's the fashion capital of the world, but it also appears to be the gratuitously "fashionable" capital of the world as well, as if people decide to wear something ONLY so people look at them, even in confusion.  And hunny, it's 25 degrees out, just looking at you in those Uggs and mini skirt makes my insides hurt.  Put on some clothing

- The fact that riding on the subway provides you with the most interesting cross-cultural cross-sectional study of America.  Young and old.  Rich and poor.  Black, white, Asian, and Latino.  Bankers and artists.  All in one beautiful underground world

- The wind.  I'm sorry, is it even LEGAL for the wind to rip down city streets at that speed?  I think not.  Did I mention the sideways rain?  Yeah, thanks for that.  Glad I brought my umbrella.  Because it's useless

- How everyone is using a cell phone, blackberry, iPod, or all of the above simultaneously while walking down the sidewalk.  Or all the time.  The more I travel, the more I understand it to be unique to New York, and I kind of had forgotten how ubiquitous it is.  Side note- Number of people I have seen walking down the street with an iPod in Iasi thus far- 0

- The pace at which life moves.  After living in the Pacific Northwest, I guess I had become less... anxious?  Busy?  Several days were literally exhausting simply because I felt caught up in a flurry of activity.  I would be out of the house from 10am to 10pm and not know where the time had gone.  But thinking back, I did that every single day of my life.  Wow

- That you need to filter.  I think the reason that so many people (tourists mostly) find NYC overwhelming is because their brains attempt to process all of the stimuli coming their way.  All the people, sights, smells, signs, and stores.  But the problem with that approach is that it is literally exhausting and utterly overwhelming.  Hence, people who live in New York learn to tune out and filter a great deal of the unnecessary information.  Somehow I unlearned that very useful habit, and I often found my brain hurting simply from trying to process my surroundings.  Not fun

- Honesty.  People in New York are just more direct.  They don't mince words, they don't beat around the bush, they just tell it like it is.  Some may find this rude, but I find it suits my personality quite well.  Which is not to say that there aren't ANY honest people ANYWHERE else, but on the whole, people are more direct in NYC than other places, in particular the Pacific NW.  If I ask you whether this dress looks good on me, I expect an honest answer.  If we are in a conversation about a controversial topic, I would like to know your opinion, not to change the subject.  Twas quite a joy to return to a land where this sentiment is shared

Those are just a few, certainly not comprehensive.  But 10 makes for a nice list, so I will stop there.  I can only imagine how many more I will have to add after living in Eastern Europe for 7 months.  Should be interesting

No comments: