Sunday, 1 May 2011

more thoughts of the people and lifestyle in NYC

Okay so given that 'thoughts of the people of NYC' was never meant to be an exhaustive post/list, I thought it was high time I did a part two of this post!
It's been one of the most popular read posts on this blog, and 'Ella's' comment from that post, has inspired me to update my experience now that we've been here a almost year now! Time flies!

In a year, I've had some great 'people experiences' both making friends and chatting to strangers, I've detailed this in subsequent posts.
I love that everyone is from everywhere here, you never feel like you're foreign!
I still feel NYC is very different from anywhere else in the US, this city is intense and it changes you, as a move anywhere will I guess.
Working hours are long, and holiday allocation is short- two weeks, we get five in Europe.
There is no EU to protect working hours. Sometimes that's their own ambition (like in London, I know), sometimes it's expected, sometimes necessity warrants it, but it's kinda the norm, work/life balance can be ignored, or at least messed with sometimes- this can happen in any big city, I know, London is the same for some, it just feels much more intense here.
        Eat out or order in/get delivery, don't cook-space is a commodity and kitchens are tiny- a sort of afterthought-in most apartments, shopping and cooking fresh food is difficult and more expensive. Great thing here is that the supermarket will deliver your food after you have shopped for it, for about $8! No more lugging 4 or 5 plastic bags on the bus home, and they even put it into bags for you.
        Washing clothes, is usually in your own home in London, but in NYC you usually drop them off to the Launderette or such service or do them in the Laundry room in the basement of your building like I do.

        Of course you know how apartments are really small in Manhattan from the shock in my earlier blog posts. Noise in Manhattan is ubiquitous, all hours of the day, even in Central park.

        I learned that many people have a place outside Manhattan to retreat to, else they plan on being here for a while, to establish themselves, to take what they want and need from the vibrancy that exists in a city that never sleeps, then move elsewhere, like greater New York, to settle or have kids much like Monica and Chandler in Friends. (Sorry for being cheesy-It's the closest example I could think of!) again, London is, of course, the same for some. Space and house prices being at a premium, true city tradition.

        So with such intensity, I guess it is natural that some people will feel the need to let off steam, or talk loud to draw attention, or loose some politeness to just get through their day. Paitence here is a commodity.
        Even if you're not looking to live here, a native New Yorker offers some advice to would-be tourists via some firm dont's in her post!  She's very sweet really:)
        That said, I have to say, you do get used to it, I'm determined to stay a kind, civil human being, but I am no longer averse to matching someones arrogance or rudeness.
        It pays off, and people seem to accept and respect it and I no longer get as offended as I used to.
        I've finally found my rhythm here, I feel lucky to have this experience. The subway and buses are great to get around, it's a great city, exciting with neighbourhoods with their own distinctive persona's, much like London does.
        I do enjoy the mix of people, and accessibility of things and of course.. Central Park is somewhere I couldn't be without!


        1. Hello there! A friend sent me your link as I've just moved from London to New York a few months ago. I love that someone pretty much confirms my own observations. Oh, and as chance would have it, I also blog (tumblr?) about it:


        2. Aww thanks for the link! That post was written so long ago and part in all honesty and part tongue-in-cheek. Hopefully your readers get some use out of it and a little laugh in the process.

          Lately I've been thinking about doing an update to that since other "do's and don'ts" have come to mind. One being that if you're going to just stand on the subway escalators, please stay on the right side so that the rest of us can walk up on the left.

          Oh, and please remember that some of us have the misfortune of working where you play. Thanks. :p

        3. Hi Verena, and welcome :) love that we are connected on observations, it's funny when someone says what you're thinking eh? Although I had two people be very polite to me on a crowded subway and a policeman smile at me,and ask directions:) very NYC, very cool.
          @ Dorkys, just to say people from London have signs all over the tube that say stand on the right walk on the left on the escalators, so it couldn't possibly be them in your way! ;) and whaddya mean? we love working, where they play! admit it!looking forward to your updated post :)

        4. I woke up early this morning and something felt odd to me. I realised that I could not hear any birds chirping even though its spring time. Am I too high up in my high rise apartment to hear them, or are there just no birds in Manhattan?!

          Brit Asian in NY

        5. @Brit Asian in NY Lol!!!Okay, so I live a half block from Central Park, and your comment made me wait for the birds to start singing this morning too.. I didn't hear any either! I did hear the buses, the horn and trucks as well as people yelling/New York style chatting on the street, perhaps all the birds just stay in the park? or save their singing for the bars!