Before I moved, I told myself, “Brace yourself, Chary.”
Adjusting hasn’t been difficult nor a quick transition either. I am getting used to certain things, like my form of transportation, but not the ridiculous weather.
A short synopsis of my subway stories – (#charyssubwaystories on Twitter)
- First day, I managed to survive the train to get to Target.
- “Did you steal that Metro Card?!” a Lady NYPD asked. “No Ma’am. It’s mine, I swear. I just got lost that is why I am re-entering the station.” Yeah, that happened, too.
- There are train performers, even kids who are rapping and dancing for money.
- Nap time happens, all the time. Even when drunk. I, too, have been guilty of this action.
- If you don’t have headphones, you’re screwed. People usually read or listen to music on their commutes. Or people watch (my fave).
- This past weekend, a well-dressed gentleman’s package was nearly next to my face. So awkward. So awkward. Of all body parts, really?
- Cute shoes can’t happen. Wedges? Maybe, but you’re walking up-and-down stairs and catching train transfers. Comfort wins!
- There is no such thing as personal space. Shoulder-to-shoulder. Body heat. Maybe I should catch the next train Uptown…
Time is of the essence. They were not kidding about the hustle-and-bustle.
I was explaining to family and friends that grocery shopping is difficult and expensive. I am used to purchasing a week’s worth and stuff it into my car and drive off. I don’t have the luxury anymore. Now? I usually get two day’s worth due to my train ride. Got to be able to carry it on the train and the walk home.
There are little markets on every corner, “bodegas” they call it. I still don’t understand it entirely, but a little bit of deli + groceries? For larger grocery markets, there is a long line outside of Trader Joe’s just to enter, and Whole Foods gets expensive! This happened: I went into a small corner market, looking for lemons. Three lemons for two dollars – what in the! Can’t get over that.
It’s very interesting when it comes to the food culture here. People dine out more often than cook at home. There is a Seamless ad that reads “People call it take out. New Yorkers call it dinner.” A Seamless meal can be equivalent to a piece of salmon from Whole Foods. I don’t know how or why, but it just is. They were not kidding about the cost of living is pricey here. Who grocery shops? Who cooks? A lost art…
Everyone is so diverse and there is a sense of community amongst the different cultures. I’m so used to being surrounded by many Asians, but not so many I’ve seen. And Chinatown does not count. Heard they’re populated in Queens though! I’ve came across Jewish, Dominican, and Puerto Rican backgrounds.
New Yorkers have that attitude - I am assuming it’s the Don’t-mess-with-me and Get-out-of-way attitude. They’re not rude, just in a rush. Me? It’s rubbing onto me a little.
Oh, briefly put: party life is way different than in LA. Does not stop at 1:30 – 2AM. Reminds me of Vegas, where you party when the sun comes up. Me? I like my sleep, thanks!
As far as the neighborhoods and City itself, there are many history, culture and street art. It reminds me of another great city, San Francisco! And it’s a little dirty. When I said this to K, she said, “You sound like a total Californian. ‘Oh my gosh, it is so dirty!” Clearly, mocking me.
The vibe is different, but I like it. A lot. This is my new normal.
I overlooked the City, and I thought to myself, “I really live here.” It’s going to take time to fully transition and adapt, but by far: I love you, New York.
*Artwork by S.
*For my daily sights of the City, check out my Instagram @charypie.