Now that I’ve been living in New York City for over a month, I’ve noticed many things (besides the obvious) that are different from my life in Oklahoma. These are things that I would have never thought of before because I was just so used to my everyday life to really notice that they could be different elsewhere.
The first thing that is very different about life in NYC is grocery shopping. I have never been a huge fan of grocery shopping period, but in Manhattan, I loathe it. Grocery shopping is the only time I’ve missed having a car. And that’s because whatever I buy I have to carry back the few blocks and up five flights of stairs to my apartment. Let me just say, it feels like a bag doubles in weight when you carry it 6 blocks. This also means that I can’t shop for two weeks worth of food, I can usually only shop for food for 3 days (which is a lot to carry some days). I’ve been going to Trader Joe’s, which has deals so amazing (especially for NYC), that it’s worth the few extra blocks. Other options are small corner grocery stores which are more like glorified convenience stores which are higher in price. Additional grocery shopping options include the multiple green markets all over the city, and even purchasing groceries online and having them delivered! (I tried this once and was really impressed, all my food was delivered the next day and was super fresh, even the fruit.)
One thing that is vastly different in NYC, and that I am missing immensely from home, is Mexican food (Tex-Mex technically). There are a few “Mexican” food restaurants in NYC, but they are nothing like eating Mexican food in the south. I have not found queso in a single place… which is one of my favorite things at a Mexican food restaurant. The Mexicanish food here is more related to entrees like fish tacos and lighter options. They don’t have the heavy, greasy, cheese filled Mexican food I crave. I’d kill for a taco and enchilada right now. And queso. QUESO.
I’m used to not having a washer and dryer in my apartment, so that is nothing new. But doing laundry in NYC is not the same as taking it to a laundromat in Oklahoma (or… my mom’s house, where I’d also score a free meal). You lug your huge bags (mine are huge because I always wait forever to do my laundry) down the stairs, walk the block to the closest laundromat (thankfully they are everywhere), to get there and spend about $6-7 per load, and hang around for an hour hand a half to two hours, only to lug it back down the block and up the stairs. It’s not pleasant. But get this, it is cheaper to actually pay a laundromat to pick up your laundry from your apartment, clean and fold it for you, and deliver it to you the next day. Laundry service is quite possibly the best thing ever, just saying.
Dining is different in NYC too. I’ve noticed that you are expected to know quickly after being seated what you’d like to eat, and for the most part, you have to ask for your check when you are ready to pay and leave. Pizza is a big deal here in NYC, and so is ordering takeout. So I can easily admit that I eat a lot of pizza and order takeout. A few things I’ve learned about these two is that cheese pizza is called plain pizza, and when you order food it’s either “to go” or “to stay.” I am so used to saying “for here” that I still slip up… but come or think of it, “to go/to stay” makes much more sense.
I know as the weeks pass I’ll be learning many more of these little NYC cultural differences, and I can’t wait!