my blogging view
I’ve been out of New York City for the past seven months, so it’s time to share with you some things about living in the suburbs that completely outweigh living in the city.
A house one block away.
1. Grocery Shopping
In New York, you have to schlep everything so matter what you buy, you must keep in mind that you are bringing it home with nothing else but your own two hands. This makes going to stores further from your apartment really trying, especially when a subway ride is part of it. When I went to Trader Joe’s before coming home, I had to walk 4 blocks from work, then another 5 blocks to the subway, then ride the subway with all my bags for one stop, transfer trains, ride another 15 minutes to Brooklyn, then walk another 4 blocks, up 4 flights of stairs and by then my hands would practically be bleeding from the grocery bags. In my old neighborhood, sometimes I would walk a mile there and back just to go to a decent sized grocery store. Now I just hop in my Chevy baby and cruise on down to whatever grocery store I want, buy as much or as little and then cruise on back! Not to mention the price of groceries is about double in New York. I know for a fact that kashi bars in New York are around $6 a box, and where I live now, they are about $3. But that is a total DUH.
Not to mention a Wegman’s, but that could be an entire post on it’s own.
Where I buy my produce and meat.
2. Music sounds the best in cars
There really isn’t much better than driving with the windows down listening to one of your favorite songs. In fact, it sounds better than in ear phone on the subway, in your apartment or even out at a club. When your sad, it’s your own little haven to get away from everything. When your happy, you feel like you are on top of the world. Driving hasn’t been a part of my life for 10 years, and I am welcoming it back with open arms. Also, I love NPR and now can listen to it in the comfort of my own car instead of making time for it at home, when I would rather be reading or watching Bravo.
a house 2 blocks from mine.
3. More room
Everywhere. Your apartment, your house– the park, the streets, the stores. Everywhere is infinitely more open, cleaner, less packed. When I wanted outdoor space in New York, I was forced to either head up on one of the roofs of my friends, laying hot and sticky on a tar ground, after climbing through a window to get there and often accompanied by random tenets who you never even bother to exchange names with, or at the park, overhearing the girl with her cat on a leash complaining about how her boyfriend didn’t get her the right Louise bag for Christmas to her friend on her blackberry.
You never know how important space is until you have it, really. And after living in apartments, or crowded houses since I was 18, it’s really great having not only more than one bathroom to choose from, but a kitchen table. Something I haven’t had since I was 22. I have a full kitchen, and room for a juicer and a coffee machine. I have a backyard where I grow my own tomatoes, jalapenos, herbs and flowers. I have a full sized couch and a bathroom that fits all my makeup and hair products and I even have a dining room table.
our dining room.
I really never thought about space or the importance of it until I was granted it this year, and after 10 years of not, I don’t think I will be going back to the latter anytime soon.
mom’s garden, 2 miles away from where I live.
I once heard a Creative Director I used to work with say “Everywhere in Manhattan takes 30 minutes,” and that really is a pretty accurate explanation. If it’s less than 20 blocks, most times you walk, and if you walk, it’s going to take about 25-30 minutes, and if it’s past 20 blocks, you cab or subway, and by the time you get either of those, and get to your final destination, it’s about 30 minutes. It’s the most convenient city in the world, but by the time you walk there, or wait for transportation, get in line to get a slice of pizza, and finally pay, and walk back to your office, it’s going take about 30 minutes. And if a train is down in your neighborhood, going 5 miles can take up to an hour. I had a friend who lived in Queens where there was absolutely no easy way to get there. I either had to transfer 5 trains, or take one train from South Brooklyn, back through Manhattan up through Queens. To go 5 miles, it was either $30 cab ride, or an hour and a half on the train. I could have been to Philly by then via a car.
In the suburbs, that’s not the case. Your commute is straight forward. Your gym is on the way home, and you don’t have to carry your gym clothes with you on your shoulder. Those people’s commutes that are about 30 minutes, are 15 miles away, not 4. You have time after work to hang out with a friend, and still be home by 8 and going to the post office is not a 45 minutes nightmare. You certainly have more time to do the things you want, and you will never be waiting in line to get into Trader Joe’s.
5. Attitudes, or lack there of
The attitudes in the suburbs are completely different. Not saying there aren’t any in the Philly suburbs, trust me there are, but it’s completely different. First, in New York, no one talks to you ever. Unless they are a crazy person on the subway, you never get even a direct eye contact from anyone for days. In the suburbs, everyone talks. If you buy a coat, the lady at the check out says “ooooo I loved this coat, I think I totally need to get it.” In New York, they don’t even tell you the price, you have to look at the price displayed in the screen in front of you, give your card, or swipe, and leave. You can literally go a day without talking to a single sole, and you’ve been out of your house for 8 hours.
To be honest, this took some getting used to. Getting told that the yogurt I bought was super yummy is just not something I was used to, and having people talking to me in line about how the hangers she is returning made weird nipple like bumps on her shoulders of her sweaters in line Marshall’s really made me feel sort of uncomfortable, but it’s sort of nice now. Especially at Annie Sez when they offer you free coupons and discounts.
In New York, there is the occasional “So happy it’s Friday!” or weather commentary exchange in the elevator, but not much more.
Also regarding ‘tudes you will never again get told the restaurant you are walking into has a “private party” tonight by a 125 lb man with a stach in a bowler hat or that you are allowed in, but your friends aren’t by a pumped up meat head in a red v-neck That doesn’t fly, or even exist here. And although there are jerks ever present, since there is so much room at the bars you go to in the suburbs, you can easily just walk to the other side of the room.
So there are my top differences that I am really embracing, and although I miss my friends and restaurants, when I made a guest appearance in NYC for 36 hours back in December, I was really happy I don’t live there anymore, and I was even happier at the end of the day to return to my house with two couches and my little white Chevy.
my chevy babyyyyy