Most Popular Posts

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

9 crazy things about NYC

NYC was just voted the world’s favorite city. This month was my twelve-year anniversary of living here, and I love it here, too. But NYC can be a serious drag sometimes! (Remember the popularity of this Onion article?) So, although I often point out the positives of the city, in an effort to be even-handed, here are nine things about NYC that can drive you batshit crazy...
NYC pizza tastes like cardboard. There, I said it.
Rats come out when the sun sets. Kids at playgrounds will actually say, "Ok, let's go, it's rat time!"
Summer is humid and blazing hot; winter is bone-chillingly cold.
Many people you know have been mugged at one point or another. (When I was mugged in my twenties, two guys in hoodies came up to me and told me to give them my wallet. In a moment of very uncharacteristic bravery, I actually negotiated with them to see if I could just give them my cash and keep my wallet because I had a gift card from my boss in there! They said yes!)
The average wait time at a West Village restaurant on a typical evening is 90 minutes. 90 minutes!
Most people's apartments are TEENY TINY. For example, our friends share a one-bedroom apartment with their two kids—the baby sleeps in a mini crib at the foot of their bed and the toddler sleeps in the closet.
As a thirtysomething adult with a full-time job, it’s very normal to not have a car, dishwasher or washing machine (and have to trek to the laundromat).
The city is filled with models. (For example, at the playground this summer, Alex ended up casually chatting with her!) So, you find yourself walking down the street feeling pretty good about yourself, and then you pass a gaggle of these ladies and you're like....oh, well, okay then.
Random things are psychotically expensive. For example, one chocolate-chip cookie will run you $4. One drop-in children's music class is $25. And I ordered a lemonade at a cafe this summer and when the check came it was $10. $10!

But in the end, I can't help it...I'll always love you, New York City.

Anything else to add?? And if you live elsewhere, what's unglamorous about your town? :)

P.S. The Cup of Jo Guide to NYC. Plus, four posts with Gemma Correll: How to have sex, how to eat dinner, how to drink wine and how to feel pretty.

(Illustrations by Gemma Correll for Cup of Jo. Top graphic by Rachel Ball for Cup of Jo. This post was inspired by Anne's awesome series called Unglamorous Paris.)

272 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 272 of 272
Jen Wike said...

O.M.G... I lived in Greenpoint for 1 year after moving up from North Carolina where I'd lived all my life (and live again)... we're talking SPACE (mountains, houses, yards, beaches, etc.) to a TWO HOUR round trip to go to a decent grocery store. Yikes! It was tough. I loved a lot of things but really some vital things were just RIDICULOUS! :) I <3 NYC

sadie said...

I love this. I've been to New York maybe 5 times, and I DO <3 NY. But, I know I don't live there, sooo.... Can I REALLY say that? :) Anyway, my town, Columbia, Missouri, my home for almost 10 years (originally from Louisiana), annoyances? Students. EVERYWHERE. They're like ROACHES. AND they think they OWN. THIS. TOWN. Residing here for 8ish months a year does NOT mean you LIVE here, m'kay? Moooove it along! :) (And it's sort of like that model thing NYC has... Everywhere you look is a thin, blonde student. Yep, it's true.)

Anna Culp said...

I also live in Minneapolis! It is truly a gem. The city is prepared for winter with lots of covered parking and skyways and things to do indoors and outdoors...but it's just so cold and gray for soooo long! And oddly, it's hard to get direct flights anywhere. And the many homeless is a clear problem. The arts, parks, conscientious culture, natural beauty and interesting architecture, and for me personally, the Finnish community, are amazing!!

bethy said...

I'm a born and bred new Yorker, your article is spot on. I always will love ny but I had to get out, it was all too much, the city is exhausting. It has been a few years since I moved and I don't regret it. I do go back often to visit and those few days are all that I can handle. BTW is it me or has the city gotten more crowded?

nadia said...

Such a funny post!

xo N

Becca said...

Thanks for the hysterical post. Your posts never fail to amuse me. We all can use a dose of grit and a touch of reality while balancing our affections for our respective hometowns. Thanks for putting such a notoriously glamorous city in perspective.

For me, the unglamorous part about Los Angeles isn't so much the traffic, but how incessantly we talk about the traffic. And then, we mindlessly story-top others with our traffic woes. Endless sunshine seems to do very little for our driving neuroses.

Also, many apologies for all the pizza animosity directed towards you. I don't understand how heated one can get talking about such a generic food item, but then again we don't eat a whole lot of carbs in Los Angeles.

Elle said...

Oh yes...love/hate...what a dilemma. When I lived in DC for too long it was due to this. Now it's Hawaii - great place to visit, very challenging to live here - unless you've got a trust fund. Rent and mortgages are equal to Manhattan but wages are possibly less then you'd find in, say, a small town in South Dakota. It's easy to pay more for groceries than for rent!

Alexandra Riegler said...

I've been living in Charlotte for six years, and I have to agree: the people are friendly and laid-back. Also, the housing prices are affordable, there's lots of green everywhere, and I loved the sunny falls and winters (I'm not much of a summer person ;)

But don't you think you'll miss New York's walkability? Being from Europe, it's the one thing I simply couldn't overcome in the South: how cars dominate the everyday life.

Raphaelle Robert said...

I'm glad I live in Portland Oregon!!!
mamaninportland.blogspot.com

bluebirds of happiness said...

I recently spent just under 3 weeks in your fantastic city in June, visiting from Sydney, Australia. I have coeliac disease, so pizza was an issue, but I had a delicious gluten free pizza in Brooklyn. Didn't see a single rat or cockroach, but plenty of models! I have to admit, the heat and humidity really knocked me around, living on the coast here we often get refreshing sea breezes, even on scorching hot days. The other thing I would add is the garbage. We actually took photos of the piles of rubbish sitting on the side walk, that is something you just never see here in Australia. That said I found New York the most wonderful, exciting and exhilarating city I have ever visited, you are lucky to live there!

Jihye Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Margarita said...

this is soooo funny!!

Emily Knott said...

I live very close to London here in the UK but I have visited NYC and would love to go back!

www.britishbeautyaddict.com

SteffanyF said...

I just moved from San Francisco to Berlin and I HAVE A WASHING MACHINE! No dryer or dishwasher, but a washing machine! Oh man. I've never had a washing machine before. It's amazing.
My complaints about San Francisco are similar: tiny apartments, massive rents, and out-of-control real estate. The other thing that drives me bonkers about SF right now is the preponderance of techie douchebags. They are everywhere. They are driving apartment prices up and forcing lower-income families out of their homes, and making it nearly impossible for me to get coffee in the morning. I secretly hope google crashes and burns.

Seem said...

Love this post and (mostly) wholeheartedly agree, but, PLEASE try the pizza at Lucali.

andracarter said...

i love this post! i love new your :) however i have to disagree with you about the pizza part of it... i grew up in NJ and lived in NYC for 4 years... and one of the things i miss the most now that we live in Ecuador is NYC pizza! i love how you can get a huge slice that's bigger than the paper plate and you fold the super crispy crust in half and it just oozes cheese and sauce.... yum...

like fried chicken said...

The $4 cookies got to me. So true! A random sandwich can cost $16, a grilled cheese $10, and you just get used to it.

Except when I go back home for a bit and get used to normal prices, and then just can't bring myself to pay $10 for a milkshake.

But it tastes good. The food is good.

Audrie said...

When I'd moved to the States and landed in CT, I thought one day I'll move to NYC, but in the meantime, I'd just go on weekends and visit. Six years later, I no longer wish to move but I'm glad that it's close enough to visit whenever I want. I decided like having a house with a backyard and covered garage. Perhaps a pied-à-terre in the city would be lovely hehe Oh to dream :)

Kathleen Marie said...

Oh my goodness. Jo-your article was so funny. I grew up in Upstate NY now live in rural PA and love love love it. My commute to work is 20 miles and it takes me 20 minutes. We travel to lots of cities and while we love them, I really do not think I would do well. Yes, chopping wood for the woodstove in the fall is not fun, but coming home to see the smoke coming out the chimmney and having a house with land and the quiet. Oh I love the quiet. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Though I'm totally jealous of your shopping options-here everything is online! Thank you all for loving these big cities, because they sure are very fun places to visit! A big thank you to the wonderful people in Portland who helped us find delish restaurants, the folks in SF who made our honeymoon AMAZING, the people in San Diego who pointed us to a pizza place that was wonderful, and the people of Vancouver who could not have been any nicer. I'm leaving out a few really wonderful cities with wonderful people who gave us directions and helped us, but please know if you live in a city and have helped a tourist we appreciate it-because we really can't figure out public transportation to save our lives and we try so very hard to figure it out and not get in your way. :) -Kathleen

Jade Garrido said...

What a hilarious and informative rant! I love the comment about you negotiating to keep a Nordstorm gift card...I would do the same!
Despite New York's quirks, it's still one of my favourite cities to visit. It has a lot more character than Toronto..

Jade Garrido said...

What a hilarious and informative rant! I love the comment about you negotiating to keep a Nordstorm gift card...I would do the same!
Despite New York's quirks, it's still one of my favourite cities to visit. It has a lot more character than Toronto..

Jade Garrido said...

What a hilarious and informative rant! I love the comment about you negotiating to keep a Nordstorm gift card...I would do the same!
Despite New York's quirks, it's still one of my favourite cities to visit. It has a lot more character than Toronto..

Julia said...

I might be the only person in the world who doesn't love NYC..BUT i can see how people do like it. I live in LA, and I like my space, my dishwasher, and my $5 lemonade :)

AND. said...

oH don't forget the turist in the middle of everthing. Doors, strees, door-of-the-subway...

like fried chicken said...

I'm confused about the pizza thing though, I think it's pretty good! I mean the 99 cent pizza is not, neither are the ones that seem to think tomato paste = tomato sauce. But otherwise, I quite like it!

Lindsey said...

I got a good laugh out of this! Thanks for sharing.

L8Blmr said...

I loved this list! As much as I love my City (SF) it can drive me crazy. I don't think anyone needs to take offence, it's just one person's opinion who happens to have a blog. I don't think Joanna was trying to diss the City...

Mina said...

Absolutely hysterical and witty! Love the illustrations! Ha! I'm in Florida. Everyone is always like "Oh! The beach. You are sooooo lucky!!!" Yeah. No. First of all, if you live here, a tourist goes to the beach a lot more than you do AND the weather is no treat in the summer. You're looking at rain every.single.afternoon for 3+ months!! Arrgghh!!!

Foster said...

Wasn't NY also rated the rudest city in The US...

tiffany // camp1899 said...

TEN dollar lemonade! never in a million... LOVE this post!

jukalowe said...

Great post! I live in Toronto (which I feel like some people might not know is fourth-biggest city in North America, right after Mexico City, NYC, & LA) and although it's great to have access to awesome museums, concerts, restaurants, and shopping (especially as a newly-engaged bride-to-be!), there are definitely a few things that drive me nuts: crowds are insane, especially at big events; public transit isn't great and traffic is TERRIBLE; and we have an intense raccoon problem that made it almost impossible for me to grow a garden this summer. That said, I know I'm lucky to live in downtown To.!

Shannon said...

I've always heard to carry a fake wallet with you for tricking muggers. Maybe put some ones in there and some fake cards to make it look real enough to give you time to get to a safe place.

Also, put a $20 under the soles of all your shoes for cab or subway money. Just in case.

shantay907 said...

in Alaska, shipping is always expensive, and most of the time free shipping is not actually free or there are places that don't ship to Alaska at all. super annoying but I love living here, the views are breathtaking, the people friendly and well, it's home :D

Carla Cavellucci Landi said...

That's why I live in Edgewater NJ =). I love NY but can't think about living in the City.
Great and funny post!

cakegirl said...

You must live in a different Chicago than Chicago, Il where last summer was unseasonably cold and the summer do .2012 was hot as hell!

Katie said...

Well the pizza is really flat -- does that make it cardboard-like?

JOR said...

So you moved here post 9/11 and the beginning of gentrification and luxufication and Bloomberg's terms, where consumerism and luxury was his crying call to show the terrorists that capitalism and NYC will not be down, therefore keep consuming -- spend. spends. spend. People moved here and adapted to their neighborhood, not destroy it to liken it to their images and their hometown of of suburban banality. If this NYC was a different country and you criticize on the way its citizens live their way and their local cuisine, you'd be a racist. And the people who are agreeing with you who don't even live here and have only visited here, give me a break. How would you like it if I criticize your hometown Podunk Middle America after spending only a few days there. What a bunch of ignorant fools. NYC has now become to the narcissist and those who do nothing but consume and be glamorous -- useless and vacuous, like you and your minions and this post. Go away. Leave NYC to those who have soul and character.

Aidel Knaidel said...

I lived in Manhattan for seven glorious years and even with this unglamorous top ten, I would run back in a heartbeat. When I visit, I hit the ground running to try to cram in everything I miss. (It's so hard to work the Cloisters in....) I'm jealous every time you write or post photos about NYC--don't take it for granted. I'm hopeful someday I will be able to return for more than a few days. BTW, not having a car is a very GOOD thing. In most cities it's difficult to get by without one.

JOR said...

That's when people from small town and subruban Zenith U.S.A. and Podunk Middle America, like Johanna, started moving in here and think they are better than and are lofty and haughty to the natives and their way of life.

Fai said...

Cute illustrations! I'm living in Tokyo and I'm having a love-hate relationship with the city!

123 said...

Joanna, I loved this post! Visited NY once, loved it so much! But yes all big cities have they pros and cons. I am French but live in Johannesburg, South Africa and after 7 years, I get seriously worked up about certain things: safe public transport non-existent, prices increasing like cah-razy (esp petrol and food) and salaries very low. Service is atrocious, roads in a terrible state, traffic lights out all the time and it goes on and on BUT then we have the Kruger park, beautiful Cape Town, vineyards, and so many other gorgeous things to see and experience and SA wins my heart over France any day :)

Claire said...

Summertime garbage smell! Wintertime frozen trash juice on the sidewalk!

mynameis tash said...

I have been living in Mombasa, Kenya. The downside...trash. It is a rarity to find a public trash can so everyone litters.

Kaitlin M said...

Boston has ZERO good delivery options. The only way to get delivery is to pay someone a premium (like $10!) to bring it to you, and then you end up having to tip them as well! Brutal. Also, the subway system in Boston is brutal. Since it's the oldest in the country, it doesn't go anywhere you want to, and walking is usually just as fast.

Cris said...

I live in LA and what we have in common with NYC is the prices of things, and the whole model/actress thing all over, everywhere. I actually like NY pizza- come here and you will have a different outlook on NY pizza! haha.

Cris said...

Unless its where to get the best gluten free, vegan pizza... :)

Cortney said...

I've never been to NY, but this was a funny article nevertheless! Living in smalltown, Idaho, has it's pitfalls as well. Having to take main street to avoid 1st south and it's line of buses and students headed for high school is a must, but requires a speed limit of 20. Often forgeting how long my 10 minute commute to work takes, postpone leaving home only to arrive at work late. Feeling my hands dry up from the freezing high altitude. Smelling freshly laid manure in the morning from the field opposite our county road. Getting chased by un-tethered dogs during my morning jogs. Waiting 8 months for the the water company to place a new pipe down 3rd street, fill it up, and finally lay asphalt. Filling a glass of water from the tap, but waiting for the milky appearance to settle (lots of tiny air bubbles). Baring down the windows and doors during harvest season to prevent the smog-like dust and debris from floating indoors.

And yet, there's a lot of positives. Lots of space, less-expensive gas, and beautiful sunsets!

Great article, thanks for sharing!

mytravelfolder.com said...

I agree with many of your feelings.
But after 20 years, I still miss an NYC bagel. it has to be the water!!!!!
Andrea

alishalouise.com said...

Ha! This cracks me up. I go to San Fran for business frequently and I've actually seen someone drop trow and crap on the street in front of a bar. Ugh.

Sharol Flo said...

This was great! Thanks for the laugh. I live in Boise, ID and my only complaints are that they don't really plow the snow in the winter. It doesn't snow all that often but when it does it's as if drivers have forgotten how to drive in the snow. The only thing they do is sprinkle sand at the intersections. Also, when the wind is blowing the right (or wrong) direction you get a whiff of manure. No rats here but sometimes there can be mice, if you're living in the newer, more rural neighborhoods. But that problem can be resolved with a cat. We see a lot of semi trucks hauling potatoes, but I just think that's funny. It's a good thing I live in Idaho, because I really do love potatoes.

Mrs. L said...

We were asked to bring cookies to a party from a specific bakery on the Upper West Side. The total was $100. A HUNDRED DOLLARS! For 25 cookies! Granted, they were so delicious I almost wept when I bit into the first one.

Lukalost said...

The cute little drawings were both beautiful and funny like a in a funny kids book. Be careful though, I can tell the city snide side is rubbing off on you LOL.

good job

Krafteria said...

I agree 100% specially the waiting time for a restaurant (sucks)
But I love this city :)

CC said...

I like the Twin Cities. But the roadways suck. Somehow they are always ALWAYS doing roadwork without ever making the roads better.

CC said...

I live in southern Minnesota and I love it. But the downside is that 90% of your scenery is cornfields and more cornfields.

The Well Read Fish said...

From my experience, I'll agree with all these but the pizza (Love it!) and the mugging...not sure if I know anyone who has been mugged. I grew up there and lived there just until a few years ago. Tear. I MISS IT TERRIBLY.
Also - whoever mentioned roaches - TRUE THAT. Ew.

The Well Read Fish said...

I was hoping a Seattleite would chime in! I'd be curious what people say. I moved to Seattle from NY and still maintain it's a nice affordable city! It's more expensive than many places, but still much cheaper than others (like SF and NY, etc.) Restaurant waits are about 30 minutes IF they're trendy - which, compared to 1.5 hours in NY, is a dream. I feel less safe in Seattle and find more vagrants and drugs on the street. But, the laundry machines in apartments - AWESOME. I go back and forth with Seattle daily. Love/Hate/Love.

The Well Read Fish said...

Foster - I find people have a hard time differentiating "rude" with "direct!" I find New Yorkers to be friendly and always have.

Anita said...

Joanna you must come to Lisbon. You'll fall in love, I asure you! The prices, the places, the food, the people, the sea, the Tagus river, the beaches around Lisbon and the green forest in Sintra. If you know someone that already came here, talk to them. They can confirm everything ☺ I love Lisbon ;) kiss for you and the boys

Bonjour! said...

,,,currently living in AZ (Arizona) where everything EVERYTHING is covered in a layer of dust! can't stand it. i gave up polishing the furniture a long time ago. not.going.to.do.it. there i said it (a bazillion times at least) you would think i would already be accustomed to the dust being a native of this southwest state but Noooooo...i'm not! can't wait to get out of here.,,,

Andrew Smith said...

WoW!
This post is really very interesting & funny. Thank You for that.
Philadelphia Moving Company

Holly said...

I'm a Canadian living in Vancouver, but NYC is my favourite place on earth. And i think this is hilarious! i can appreciate this more than you know!
a not so glam thing about Vancouver..... 3 words....the east side. ha!

Eva said...

I live in NYC, so true. And the mugging thing actually literally happened to me like in the picture! Except I didn't get to ask for my vintage purse back (It was Ralph Lauren, and so cute and perfect!) because he had a gun to my head :( Ah, New York. Still love this city despite everything.

Anna said...

I was a New Yorker and then moved to Sydney and started to appreciate the price of eating out! Not to mention the cost of groceries, clothing and toys. I guess you never know how good you have it until it's gone...

jaklin badr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaklin badr said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض cd
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض

zsaaa said...

Really? I love NYC Pizza. John's is my favorite. Chicago is great for Deep Dish though. Everything else I agree with though.

Vital Babenko said...

Great post! I love New York City with its shortcomings. It is the little things ...
My hometown is Kiev in Ukraine. Now here we have barricades, flames and smoke! Police use torture to the people (video)!

Ola O. said...

Great post :) I've never been there in NYC but i have heard it's a wonderful place though... i hope to visit it one day !

s said...

Love the artwork!

LaGoz said...

I know this is an old post, but anyway.

Some crazy things about London?:
1. The cost. EVERYTHING is expensive. Food, transport, childcare, clothes, and don't get me started on property. A friend is moving out of their one bedroom, unfurnished flat, and another friend is taking it over. The rent for the new person is 20% higher than the previous tenant's (and my friend moved in about 18 months ago). It's insane

2. It's so big. As terrible as it sounds, I end up just seeing friends who live close by, because otherwise you can end up spending three hours on public transport to see someone. I've just given up and only see some people once a year, it's such a hassle. It once took me longer to get from Gatwick Airport (which is one of the London Airports, to the south of the city) to home, than it took to get from my destination (Edinburgh) to London.

3. People can be right bastards.
They can be lovely as well, but there Londoners are generally not friendly (particularly if it's rush hour on public transport) and some are quite self-absorbed

4. The weather
It sucks. It's better than other places in the UK, but we didn't have a decent summer for about five years in a row. Basically, five years with no summer. It's inhuman

5. The tube mice
You can be quite happily waiting for the tube, without a care in the world, and see lots of dark grey mice scuttling around. They're getting braver and moving more around people. I'm afraid that one day they'll rise up and take over the city

anatlv said...

I'll be in New York in two days and I'm so excited.
I only regret one thing, I've just discovered your blog! It could be really helpful for people in my place a resume with all the information about knowing NYC in a pdf or something like it.

Great blog!

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 272 of 272   Newer› Newest»
Site design by Apartment One
Federated Media Publishing - Style