Only in NYC…

I’ve had a week full of experiences I realized I could only have in New York.

Mom flew in on the 27th for our cousin-in-law’s bridal shower out in NJ. She caught the bus in from LaGuardia and I met her at the bus stop. On our short walk back to my apartment, we walked past a fantastic little market where we picked up a to-order fresh salad and some cheesy pasta shells for dinner. As mom approached the counter and saw the slew of options available for our dinner, she exclaimed “this is amazing!” and it is amazing. Lasagna, Pasta, chicken salad, curry, pork chops, chicken parm, roasted veggies, fish, burritos, any type of dinner you can imagine, freshly made. A huge salad bar with a million toppings and every dressing in the book. And all you have to do is walk in and say “I want _______” and you have it fresh, in a single serving size, for dinner, with no planning and no work required. I think I take this for granted too often in NY.

The next day we were out in NJ for the shower, and it was so fun! And yummy. Hot pink and zebra were the colors for the shower, with lots of delicious salads, fruit, and coffee (mmm!).

Repeatedly my cousin-in-law kept marveling at how generous people were, giving her so many gifts and helping her get her married-life kitchen off to a great start. Her mom was in town from the midwest, and kept marveling at how much people give out East, compared to where they live–another feature of living in the East Coast that I think is a great thing! People always say New Yorkers are stuffy or grumpy or abrasive… I’m not sure I always agree. First of all, recognize that tons of people in NY aren’t actually from New York (is there a study somewhere that actually gives a numeric value for the # of  transplants, versus native New Yorkers?). Maybe people in New York aren’t warm & fuzzy when you first meet them, but I think part of it comes from living in a city full of too many people. If you were kind and gracious to every person who wanted your attention, you’d probably be exhausted by the end of the day. But once you do get a New Yorker’s attention (for real) I think they are as helpful and pleasant as elsewhere in the country.

Last Friday I was waking home from Bible study and as I walked up a hill, I saw a woman standing off to the side of the sidewalk in a shadowy walkway, leaning against a wall and doing something with her feet. As I got closer, I saw a pretty girl in a cute outfit, with a cute pair of black high wedges sitting on the sidewalk in front of her, and her slipping off a pair of flip flops. She put the flip flops into a plastic bag and into her handbag, put on the wedges, and probably turned the corner to meet her party looking fabulous. Smart. And only in NY. Anywhere else you wouldn’t have to worry about the torment of walking dozens of blocks in a pair of killer heels. Maybe I should find a pair of fold-up flats and try the same strategy next time I wanna look cute and preserve my feet. 🙂

This afternoon I made a quick trip down to midtown to run an errand for my mom, and then rode the bus back, for free. In NY if you transfer between systems (subway-to-bus or bus-to-subway) within a two hour window, you get the second ride free. So I enjoyed the sights and sounds, boarding the bus in Times Square and ending in front of my grocery store. I see tourist buses driving through Times Square too, and think to myself “they are paying $40 per person to ride in that bus, and I’m on this one for free!” The only difference is the running commentary, but I’m fine without it. 🙂

Now I’m back in lab, trying to be productive despite the incredibly de-motivating fact that my advisor is out of town for two weeks, and if I ever wanted to play hooky, now’s the time to do it!! It’s a good thing I am passport-less for the time being, or I’d be looking for a cruise out of Chelsea Piers or quick getaway to basically anywhere tropical. Sigh. Back to work.

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