Like a tourist who stops in the middle of the street to look up, up, all the way up at the big New York skyscrapers, I couldn’t help but notice all the idiosyncrasies of New York after having been away for more than a year. Here’s what I was reminded of while in town:
1. New Yorkers are nice! I mean, I’ve always thought that they/we were, but I noticed it more than ever on this recent trip. Every day, I’ve witnessed people offering their seats to others on the subway…and not to people who were old, disabled or pregnant…just regular, not seat-needing people. I saw a guy offer to help an old lady carry her suitcase while ascending the subway stairs yesterday. And yesterday, the nice Apple guy charged my friend Vicky nothing (I repeat, nothing!) to replace her brand new iPhone that she broke…even though it was supposed to cost her $300.
2. Oh, efficiency, how I’ve missed you! It is hard living in Paris. Parisians do not make anything easy for you, and I was reminded by how glaringly different it is there compared to New York’s wondrous efficiency. New York is just so easy. You can have anything you want, any time you want, no questions asked. In Paris, it’s a constant struggle for the smallest things in life.
3. New Yorkers are really freaking loud. I mean, really loud. It was one of the first things I noticed when I came back. On the subway, on the street, in the restaurant, at the store. Do these people have any sense of self-awareness?? Or maybe they just need to have their ears cleaned.
4. New York is a city made for walking…in stilettos. When I first moved to Paris, I still used to rock my usual four inch heels on a daily basis. But after several embarrassing tumbles, I quickly learned that those cobblestone streets were a hazard to my health. For drinks with friends last night though, I wanted to at least channel a little bit of my former New York self and decided to suck it up and throw on some heels. As I kept one watchful eye on the ground while quickly scurrying to the bar, each step I took on that concrete pavement made me feel more confident I wasn’t going to fall on my face.
5. The New York subway system kind of sucks. While heading to Long Island this weekend, what should’ve taken a mere 30 minutes to get to Penn Station, ended up taking nearly an hour. Yes, it’s great that the subway runs 24/7 here, but the Paris metro system is way more dependable.
6. What pick-pocketers?! In Paris, you can’t help but be constantly paranoid you’re going to be pick-pocketed at any moment. Not so in NYC, the “safest big city in America”! Ahh, it’s so nice not to be on the lookout for stealing gypsies!
7. New Yorkers love sweatpants! And they love to wear these stylish, comfortable sweatpants in public. Seriously though, sweatpants are not real pants and should not be worn in public. You would never see a Parisian do this. In fact, they’d put on nice pants and a button down just to throw the garbage away. Keep it classy, New York.
Love you, New York!