Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Scottsdale vs. NYC

Living in this crazy city, I have noticed quite a few differences between my lifestyle in Scottsdale and my lifestyle in NYC. I wanted to take a minute to document some of those. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Weather.com. One of the first things I do everyday is check weather.com. The weather here fluctuates like crazy (in the winter anyway), and it can be 20 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next. If it is below 30, I will generally throw on an extra layer under my coat and grab a hat. My scarf, gloves and coat is an essential everyday.

2. Camera. I carry my camera everywhere. There have been many times I have been somewhere and wished I had my camera so I could get a picture of something crazy/weird that was going on. Specifically, twice in the Union Square subway station when I was on my way to the grocery store I would have liked to have my camera.

3. No car. I walk or take public transportation everywhere I go. I have about a half mile walk from my apartment to the subway (6 train) and that gets me pretty much anywhere I need to be if I am going somewhere on the east side. If I am going somewhere on the west side, I either take a cross town bus or I will transfer off the 4, 5 or 6 at Grand Central station. The public transportation is very efficient here, and for the most part I wouldn't even want to have a car in this city. However, there are times when it would be nice to hop in my car - see 6 and 10 below.

4. UGGs. I was never into UGGs in Arizona, but here I wear my UGGs almost every day. They are very warm and my feet are never cold in them. They are also extremely comfortable. I was glad to find a pair at Last Chance though, because they already have a "salt line" around them from walking around around after they put salt on the ground.

5. Gypsy cabs. I have taken a gypsy cab twice now - once home from Costco in Queens and once home from Ikea in Brooklyn. A gypsy cab is just an unmarked cab. There are no yellow cabs outside of Costco or Ikea, so people who want to earn a little extra money stand outside of these wholesale type places and offer people rides for a fee. When you walk out of the door with large items (in my case a TV and a dresser), you get swarmed by these guys. The first one to get to you takes you over to the side and will give you a price. I negotiate just because there are so many other options there - law of supply and demand working in my favor.

6. Bed, Bath and Beyond. There is no Target in the city, so BBB has taken their place and carries everything you would think of buying at Target (well, maybe not everything, but most everything). The BBB that I go to is on 61st and 1st, which is 20 blocks from my apartment. The first couple of trips I made there, I walked the 20 blocks. When my dad came, he enjoyed taking the bus so I started utilizing the bus to BBB. I take the 2nd Avenue bus there, and the 1st Avenue bus home. BBB is on 3 stories (there is not enough room here to have a huge store like the ones in AZ), and they have escalators for your shopping cart right next to the escalator for yourself.

7. Layers. I wear layers everywhere. It takes forever to get ready to go to work in the morning, by the time I put on my sweater, coat, scarf, gloves, hat, thick socks and UGGs.

8. Crowded subway trains. The Upper East Side is where a lot of the young business professionals live, and the 6 train is the only line to midtown/downtown which is pretty much where all the office buildings are located. As you can imagine, the trains are packed in the morning. Most days I don't even have to hold on when we go and stop, because I have people on every side of me. Don't even think about getting a seat on the train. Sometimes it takes two or three trains before there is even room to get on. By the time I do get on the train, I am usually sweating pretty good. It is so cold outside so I dress warm, but the train cars are heated and with all the body heat, it gets pretty warm on the cars. Sounds pleasant, right? This is probably the least fun thing about getting to work in the morning. However, if I leave my apartment by 8am, I can avoid the rush hour. That is another difference - I would say the average work start time here is 9 or 9:30am.

9. Carrying shoes. I wear my UGGs to work, and change into my work shoes when I arrive at work. There is no way I would walk the half mile or more in my heels.

10. Grocery shopping. Whole Foods has everything I need, but there is not a Whole Foods on the Upper East Side. The closest location to me is Columbus Circle, but the most convenient location is Union Square. If I take an express train, it is only 3 stops and the store is right outside the subway station. I always think I can carry more than I really can, so the half-mile walk back to my apartment gets to be a little long. There is a company here called FreshDirect.com, so I need to check them out but haven't had a chance. In the meantime, I guess I will just keep dragging those groceries home :) This is probably why most people here just get take-out for all their meals.

11. Rain boots. I also bought rain boots at Last Chance before I moved here as I was told I would need them. These have been a lifesaver. If it is raining, I can tuck the bottom of my pants in my boots and they are still dry by the time I get to work.

12. "Warm weather." Last week after it was in the single to no digits, it warmed up to about 35 degrees on Sunday. I was on the phone to my mom while walking home from church, and she asked about the weather. My response: "It is pretty warm today." When did I start associating temperatures just above freezing as being warm???

1 comment:

Cupcake Monster said...

Isn't it funny how you change your point of view? I mean, we used to complain like crazy about winter in Phoenix, and just last night Paul and I were walking home from picking up some Thai take out and it was misting about about 50 and I was talking about how it wasn't that chilly out. You get so used to it, and when you're dressed appropriately, it doesn't seem that bad!