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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.)

271 comments:

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Bianca Nicole Bennett said...

This is so spot on! I'd also add: the weekend trains if you live in an outerborough are basically close to nonexistent!

Maggie C said...

Great post! I too love NYC living, but I've only been living here two years. Hope I can last ten more :)

Charlotte Miller said...

There's plenty of unglamorous sides of Paris - the dog poo being numero 1. But when it's as beautiful as it is, I can't stay mad for long! I'm keeping a visual diary while I'm out here - do check it out: www.worthwakingupfor.co.uk

Rosie said...

Yikes, I can't imagine being without a washing machine! If I lived in NY without a washing machine I would most definitely buy more clothes, just to save having to trek to a laundromat so often. Do people in NY tend to go to the laundromat just once every week or two? I'm intrigued by this whole concept, clearly! ;) #shelteredlife

Megan F said...

Love this. We just got back from another NYC trip and I was devising plans for how to get us back there. I have to remember not to look at everything with rose-colored glasses. :)

Franzi said...

Hillarious :D! And I love love love Gemma Correll's illustrations (like always!). I am born in Berlin and live now in a much smaller town in Germany (Osnabrück), which I adore. From time to time it all feels to tight here, because after twelve years you seem to know EVERYONE. ...But that's the only unglamorous side of good old Osnabrück. Berlin as my original home I do also love, but it has more maddening sides for me: like the huge distances, the steady noise, and that everyones tries to be more innovative or cooler than everyone else ;)

Jessica Quadra Andrews said...

Oh my gosh. First off, your mugging story is hilarious and out of control. And rat time? So awful! But so funny. Lastly, I thought NYC pizza was supposed to be the best?!?

Gabriella Hoell said...

THANK YOU!
I visited Paris in May and all I could think was "This has got to be the dirties city I've ever seen." Of course afterwards I fell in love with everything (apart from the ridiculously expensive coffee that really isn't very good) and kind of forgot about it. I can however imagine what it must be like living in such a popular city. You're kind of torn between loving it and hating it. As long as the love-bit wins out you'll stay ;)

Damaris // The cat, you and us said...

Hahaha it's funny to see that most of your list could apply to almost any big city in Europe, like Barcelona :) obvioulsy we have our own pros and cons, but I always end up loving it. Also, of course, if I could live in NYC I would be the happiest of gals! :) I've seen (from the blogosphere view) so much passion from the people that live there!

marlene said...

Hilarious that you negotiated with your muggers! I love that haha. The laundry thing would drive me totally bonkers. I'm from Washington DC originally and I loved living there. Then I moved to upstate NY and kept complaining, feeling bored, etc.. Over the years, the more I've gone back to Washington DC, the more I think people are crazy for living there. Traffic, impatience, lines, tight quarters. Life is all about perspective. I'm glad you have that, plus a lot of wit!

Amy said...

Milwaukee, WI....often smells like a brewery! Sort of a fermented, wheat-y, stale stench. But it tastes so good! Worth it.

tanara stuermer said...

hi joanna! love your blog. you forgot the education problem. finding a school in nyc for our kids it's crazy difficult. cheers! tanara.

highlandia said...

These are so great...love the story about you getting mugged, you know in a funny way.

Jane @ urbanejane. said...

I LOVE this post. I LOL'd at the mugging story (well, not at the fact that you were mugged, but at your awesome negotiation skills). And this post will make me think twice before I start complaining about our laundry machine taking too long, or our baby's nursery getting too much light! :S

Sarah said...

I've never been to NY, but travel a lot for my job and couldn't imagine coming home to a better city than my hometown of Denver, CO. It's actually really hard to find the downsides of Denver. No humidity, no bugs (or rats), lots of space (our house in the city sits on a 7500 sq. ft. lot), seriously awesome weather (sure it snows, but it's sunny by the afternoon), steps from the Rocky Mountains, an awesome restaurant and music scene, etc., etc. But, it is important to remember that I live in a big city and with that comes all sorts of unsavory individuals and issues (increasing break-in rate in my hood for example). It's good to recognize the pros and cons. That being said, I've been dying to get to NYC so I'll just ignore these unglamorous points :)

Zoe Hastert said...

What's unglamorous about St. Louis? Rather a lot. Like the downtown area - it's the worst downtown you can imagine. No really. It's just bars and homeless people who hang out checking their Facebooks at the library. But rent downtown is really cheap, so we live there, of course.

Also, while cost of living is low, restaurants are undeservedly expensive. Yes, we have some really fabulous restaurants - but the prices are disproportionate with the rest of living costs.

Hilarious article! Your mugging story is so funny.

Angie said...

Hilarious. But there is some really good pizza here!!!

C. Johnson said...

I've never been to NYC, but I have heard a few of these things! Great post. I live in Chicago and feel the same about a handful of things. Summer festivals are way too crowded, Navy Pier has a lovely view but is full of hideous tourist trap shops, it's rare to find laundry unless you buy property, etc!

Michelle Ash Latham said...

These things may be true, but I would still drop everything and move there if the opportunity arose :)

Also, I can't believe your mugging story! Glad you got to keep the wallet though :)

www.ahealthymrs.com

Becklesnwu said...

THANK YOU for acknowledging the pizza problem - I am from Chicago (born & raised) and could NEVER understand why NYC pizza even existed. The thing that makes me all the more flabbergasted is that there are actually restaurants in Chicago advertising "New-York Style Pizza". Leaves me dumfounded every time.

Anne [A Squared] said...

Chicago winters are terribly unglamorous.

But our amazing summers make up for it!

jleestone said...

A friend of mine in new york also negotiated with his mugger! A man tried to rob him on his lunch break from work and he actually talked him out of taking his wallet and his iphone because he needed it for work, and only taking cash. The guy also demanded that he give him napkins, because he had gotten mayonnaise all over the hands of his mugger during the transaction!

tanara stuermer said...

i agree! :)

Abbie said...

When I moved out of NYC after six glorious years, my biggest complaint was that I felt "suffocated." There is just no space anywhere. It became hard to breathe. Yet, nowhere I live will ever compare, and I tell people all the time if I had all the money in the world I would move back yesterday. :)

Abbie said...

Also, I have to disagree with you on the pizza. Due Amici! Come on!

Minna Ojala said...

I'm sure there are many unglamorous points about London (we have rats too, in my office for example... oh and I've also been mugged) but I choose to ignore them, I love it! :-) I would however jump at the chance to live in NYC for a while so I choose ignore these points too! :-) I must say though well done for managing to keep the Nordstrom gift card, ha.

little lady said...

Love this! I've lived in NYC for over 6 years now and can totally relate. I'd add clanking radiators, inevitable mice infestation in your walk-up, crazy neighbors, and bad smells. It's hard not to have a love/hate relationship with this city! :) www.virginialucashart.com

Lauren said...

Hah! Love this! I live in a neighborhood of Boston which has been fondly (?) titled "Rat City"...

laurenfoode.com said...

I am dying at this list. The rats! A guy took me on a date once and after brought me to Union Square Park. He actually got annoyed when I asked if we could leave because rats were scurrying around our feet while we chatted at a picnic table. Not really very romantic...

Another typical NYC story is once I was having an awful day, hated my outfit, my makeup had all but melted off, and I popped into a Sephora to buy something to make me feel better and literally bumped into Josie Maran who was having an event at the store. On the bright side, she was very sweet.

Ms. Magpie said...

Every city has its downfall. In Pittsburgh, the only metro-type train goes from a mall in the suburbs to an office complex downtown, and taxis are a joke. Rent is cheap, though.

KW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grace Beekman said...

This is great! NYC is fabulous...but there is a "stigma" that turns a lot of America off to NYC. And some of these points are so true! Your MUGGING story! OH MY! Talk about the power of persuasion! I'll bet you looked super cute too...which probably helped your case. ;)

J and H from Beyond The Stoop said...

by-the-slice places are only good when you're wasted, but the "brick-oven", nice, sit-down places are pretty darn delicious in my opinion! also, i'd rather wait 90 minutes for a west village restaurant than 90 minutes for olive garden. yes, it's actually quite normal to wait 90 minutes IN THE LOBBY at olive garden for those chain-restaurant-loving people.

lastly... i'd like to add that I hate (HATE) getting woken up by the trash man coming at 2am. it's like they are just TRYING to make as much noise as possible!!

but, you won't catch ME leaving anytime soon either!

cheers.
jenn
www.beyondthestoop.com

Meghan Donovan said...

such a great post. some days I reallllllly hate on new york for the smallest things (mostly when everything takes forever- even the most menial of tasks) but thankfully my days that I am so over the top in love with New York are more frequent. This city for all its exhausting and sometimes super gross traits, is just the most magnificent thing to get to experience as a resident.

Grace Ann Ekström said...

Glamorous about Stockholm is the long, dark winter. In the dead of winter we get an average of 6 hours of daylight, which are when the 9-5'ers are in the office. In the beginning of winter it is cozy and nice... you light candles, it's holiday time... then February arrives and everyone wants out of their coats, boots, gloves, hats and scarves. Being from Texas, and having spent 11 years in California, the cold winter can feel like a prison! :-O

laurenfoode.com said...

I'm an NYC resident and your comment had me cracking up because I currently own over 60 pairs of underwear for this very reason :)

Grace Ann Ekström said...

Oops, Unglamorous!!! :-p

Sandi G said...

Hhaha..love your negotiation with the muggers.

J and H from Beyond The Stoop said...

it that neighborhood beacon hill? because I lived there in a basement apartment for work for about 6 months this year, and I FEARED coming home when it was dark outside because I would see FAMILIES of rats scurrying between the buildings and the street on those SO narrow sidewalks!!

Maiz Connolly said...

Stinky streets in the summer is one thing I'll never miss about NYC, but the list of things that annoy me about my current hometown, Los Angeles, would take me too long to write. Sometimes it's love-hate, no matter where you live!

barbara said...

Your post made me smile a lot!! I love NYC as a tourist!
I live in a small town near Venice with a lot of negative sides: no downtown, cold and rain for 7-8 months, not much to do in weekends or evenings!

Jack said...

My town smells like chicken poop. Literally, chicken. poop. There are a lot of chickens. Yay rural VA!

Meredith said...

Haha, this is wonderful. I LOVE that Onion article. When I was looking for a hotel for this upcoming weekend (my brother is running the marathon), I sent that to him. It's hard not to hate on the city a little when you're looking at crappy hotels charging $500 a night!

Jess said...

It IS crazy, and we all totally do drop off or pick up laundry service (it's also negligibly more expensive than doing it yourself)

collette said...

Omigosh! The rats, mugging, and prices are appalling! (I've only visited once and fortunately didn't get mugged!) The fall beauty in my home state is just unbeatable - think I'll stay here even though it gets chilly in the winter.

deargraham.com said...

i live near northern wisconsin... people wear packers jerseys like they're t-shirts. 'THEY'RE SPORTS UNIFORMS PEOPLE. YOU DON'T PLAY FOR THE TEAM," is all i can think. every. single. day. put some real clothes on. sheesh.

raina tinker said...

Love this! I lived there for 5.5 years- there is much to love and much to hate! You really have to be at least 55% in the "love" camp to stay there... by the time my husband and I left, we were about 65% "hate"- it was time for us to go! Now we have kids and a house and we love it, but we love, love, LOVE visiting NYC and do it as much as we can. Brings back great memories and it's always the best city to visit, hands down. I'd only live there again if I were a millionaire and could afford a huge space, a personal driver, maybe a helicopter... ;)

EmmaMalloy said...

I've lived in Chicago my entire 28 years of my life and I love it and think it's one of the best cities, but there's always going to be unglamorous things about living in any city. The southside of Chicago is called "Chiraq" from all the gang violence and shootings. Not safe at all. And they can't figure out what to do about it. The taxes in Chicago are outrageous and the public schools are terrible. Public transportation is a mess and they can't seem to figure that out either. But on the other hand we have 4 wonderful seasons, a beautiful lake, lots of green spaces and parks, a big city with lots of neighborhoods, awesome restaurants and breweries, and lots of culture. Also, people in the midwest are pretty darn nice. People are always surprised at how great of a city Chicago is and I guess I take it for granted sometimes! I love NYC too.... and Paris. :)

sherryyo said...

LOL @deargraham - as a Wisconsonite, I agree the Packers gear is a bit crazy.

Loved this post, Joanna! Great work to you and Gemma!! Your rats comment reminded me of the horror when I was in Charleston. Another great city, but the roaches/waterbugs/palmetto bugs are just everywhere at all hours of the day. Ick!!

Jessica said...

I live in the Bay Area and though we're not as pricey as New York, we're close. Milk for our family of 3 costs us about $12 a week, and a small scoop of ice cream (like small small) is over $5. But we love the Bay Area, high prices and all and would never dream of leaving!

districtandmore said...

In DC, Motorcades are unglamorous. They block traffic and always seem to happen when I am running late for work. Cost of living can also make DC feel a little unglamorous. I’ve been working here for four years and don’t think I will be able to afford my own apartment any time soon. On the plus, I’ve had awesome roommates in DC. They are always willing to split a bottle of cheap champagne with me and watch way too many episodes of the Mindy Project and Homeland.

All in all, DC is a great city and I love living here. In fact, I just started a blog about it:

districtandmore.wordpress.com

Emily said...

I laughed about NYC pizza. I live upstate and the pizza here is amazing. I have never had a good slice in the city, yet there's this idea elsewhere in the country that "New York pizza" is supposed to be the zenith of pizza. Ridiculous.

Quintessentially Me said...

Don't worry Jo, London is the same.... :)

Michael said...

Love this post! NYC definitely has its unglamorous side that few people acknowledge because they're blinded by the lights of Radio City. My personal favorite? The foot and street traffic around holiday time. Oy! What a disaster.

Erin said...

This cracked me up. Love it!

Shana Luther said...

Having just experienced this last week, no restaurants take reservations! My husband and I want to go to a great place here in BK for our anniversary tomorrow and I know it's going to be a waiting game. Maybe even more than 90 minutes! Ugh

Bobby Sciortino said...

I'm sure I'm not your target audience, but my girlfriend shared this with me. As a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan (c. 1984) and still living here, I'm offended by your statement that my city's pizza tastes like cardboard. That, more than anything else, offended me. I also happen to be half Italian, from an immigrant Sicilian father, so I know a thing or two about good food, and good pizza. Now, NY style pizza is not the same as proper Italian pizza, it's like comparing apples to oranges, I'll be the first to admit that. However, I recommend you at least try two of my favorite NY style slices, Pizza Suprema at 31st street and 8th ave SW corner, and Joe's Pizza on Carmine st, between 6th ave and Bleecker. Stick to regular, Sicilian, or Magherita. I'm of the mindset that if you can't make the classic right, anything with toppings is just covering up the flavor of sub standard sauce, cheese, and/or dough. If you're still not satisfied, you should probably have your tastebuds checked out :)

Prescott Perez-Fox said...

Don't forget the mountains of garbage piled up on sidewalks on any given day. Or the collection trucks that rumble at 3:00am to pick it all up.

Lauren Ashley said...

LOL. Some of these remind me of SF too. Things are crazy expensive, many people live in tiny apartments, and don't have cars, dish washers, or washing machines. Luckily we have laundry in our building so we don't have to go to the laundromat (never again!). I do have to say that the weather isn't too bad (if you like fog), I think the pizza here is yummy, and I've never seen a rat (knock on wood).

eleanor said...

Try doing laundry in NYC for a family of four (with a toddler who loves to play in the dirt and a messy baby)! We have a laundry room in the building which is actually faster than having a machine in the apartment if I time it right (because then I can do all six loads of weekly laundry at one time).

Rachel Newman said...

I live in Minneapolis, and it's seriously the perfect city... except for the crazy long, cold winters. But seriously, it's beautiful, people are nice, everything's CHEAP in comparison to coastal prices, there's a lot of great museums and theatres, etc. I don't know why anyone would live anywhere else.

eleanor said...

Try doing laundry in NYC for a family of four (with a toddler who loves to play in the dirt and a messy baby)! We have a laundry room in the building which is actually faster than having a machine in the apartment if I time it right (because then I can do all six loads of weekly laundry at one time).

experteobservatrice said...

I agree with Districtandmore. In DC, the motorcades always seem to come at inconvenient times. I am convinced the President likes to go out only during the rush hour. Also, the metro system in DC leaves A LOT to be desired.

missymichele said...

Are you kidding? Best Pizza on the planet! :)

Jana Miller @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering said...

In Orange County we complain about funny things like the first rain, "we better leave early for work because the roads will be slick." or "the parking at the beach is so bad on the weekends." Or "Disneyland yearly passes have gone up."

We forget how lucky we are to live near these things!

Shruti Kapoor said...

I agree with most of the points here but i can't believe it you said NYC pizza taste like cardboard. IT does not :) common!! What about Co. pizza & Lucali and Grimaldi's they are some of the best pizzas i have ever had. R u rooting for the deep dish Chicago pizaa?

Not only is the average wait time in a restaurant that long, but to get to any popular place you have to brave long lines. Something as simple as getting in and out of a Starbuck can take a good 15 mins in NYC.

I also don't like the general stress level people walk around with in this city. They are always on the run, stressed out and out of time. It takes forever to meet friends because of their super busy schedule :)

Nonetheless there is no place like NYC and everyone must experience it once in their life!

Shruti Kapoor said...

Agree :) i love NYC pizza!!

missymichele said...

Forgot to add, this list made my day.. so funny .

Anna said...

YES! My first thought was "HOW DARE SHE SAY THAT ABOUT OUR PIZZA!" I feel like all of my friends, when they first move here, either gain or lose a tiny bit of weight from their newfound pizza-bagel-coffee diet.

Shruti Kapoor said...

:) I second u!! Pizza in NYC rocks!

Shruti Kapoor said...

I love the illustrations, awesome job Gemma & Rachel!!

Brianna Cook said...

Great list! My biggest NYC complaint is that you're absolutely NEVER alone. When I lived there after college (with roommates, of course), I would spend inordinate amounts of time in the shower because it was truthfully the only place I could escape. I missed being able to jump in my car and sing at the top of my lungs!

martinebo said...

C'est tellement bien raconté que rien ne passe vraiment pour unglamorous!

Emily said...

I've lived in rural Ohio my entire life and city life is such a foreign concept to me. I know it sounds silly, but I've often wondered how you grocery shop in the city. In my experience, I take multiple trips lugging in groceries from the car in my driveway. If you live in an apartment, do you just buy the food you need for the night/can carry in one trip? Again, silly question, but I'm curious! Thanks! :)

HAS said...

Loved Gemma Correll's illustrations, and your list!

Hope said...

We moved to Montclair because of all of those things. I love my yard, washing machine, dishwasher, and car. Last week there was a stag in our front yard! The downside is I have to get up an hour earlier to get to work in Manhattan (Times Square, to boot, ugh!) and as such I still pay like $15 for lunch.

Becca said...

Such a great post! We visited Paris last month and it was lovely for the most part, but all I could think about was how much it smelled like a sewer. Not all large cities are stinky...right?

Ms. Shypoke said...

I also negotiated with a mugger! When I was in my early 20's I was mugged after leaving a bar in Washington DC. The guy came up and put a big knife to my neck! My friend was freaking out.. and I was a little stunned. But, I was leaving for college the next day and I asked if I could just give him my cash and keep my purse.. I didn't want to have to replace my ID's.. lol. He said yes.. and I took out my two single dollar bills.. and crumpled them up so he wouldn't immediately realize how little I had given him..lol! For him, the timing was not good..I was coming OUT of a bar.. I didn't have much money left..haha! He should have targeted me before I spent it all!

jodi said...

I live on a small rural island in the PNW with less than 1,000 residents, so my lifestyle couldn't be much more different than you city dwellers. Living by the sea, sunsets, whales, eagles... all stunning. Splitting firewood to keep the woodstove going? Not exactly glamorous. (Although I will say after all these years, I'm pretty damn good at it!)

Grace Ann Ekström said...

Hi Emily, I live in Stockholm and yes, generally we shop more often and buy less on those trips. Occasionally I will bring my rolling, grandma cart to the store and really load up but it is still not the same as fitting 6 bags in your car! :-)

Ms. Shypoke said...

I lived in NOVA in the early 80's.. had a condo in Park Fairfax also lived in a studio near old towne Alexandria. I worked in Crystal City and we would go into DC quite often. It was pretty crime ridden in the Mayor Barry days.. a lot of areas that you wouldn't want to be near. I have traveled back there a few times a year now for business and it seems a lot more civilized.. the METRO is getting really dated though.. the it was pretty nice when I used it in the 80's... but it's showing its age!

Unknown said...

oh man. i can't believe you said that about nyc pizza.

Angela said...

I lived in NYC for five years and loved it. I have to agree with you about the pizza and as for the rats I will never get use to them or the cockroaches especially your water bugs ugh! However now that I am back home in London place of my birth, I truly miss NYC and feel that I left a piece of my heart there, it's a fantastic and vibrate city. Please don't get me wrong London is more or less the same expensive, busy, vibrant but in my opinion NYC has the edge. Love this post, although I felt sad that you experienced being mugging I did LOL at your negotiation skills.

Unknown said...

don't know why my name doesn't show up on this comment, it's jeannie.

Jamy of Fourth Street said...

Oh Joanna, this is spot on! Even for people who don't live in the city. I am visiting next week and today I wanted a pumpkin spice latte before work and I actually thought twice about it because of the trip next week as those $4 cookies and $200 dinners popped into my mind. :)

laura kinsey said...

All so totally true... but this month marks 13 years in NYC for me and I never want to leave! This is my number one pet peeve: getting caught unprepared in those sudden downpours that pop up every now and again... the kind where you can get completely soaked to the skin walking half a block. It's the only time I wish (for a second) that I could commute to work by car.

The pizza thing: I concur, a lot of the by-the-slice places are not great, while some are. But the sit-down, wood oven or coal oven, whole-pie-only places are all pretty fab :) Co, Roberta's, Rubirosa, Donatella, etc etc...

McKenzie Sky Edmonds said...

I live in and love Milwaukee, WI and have to admit that this city is my favorite relationship I've ever had (and I have a fab-u-lous marriage). Milwaukee is home to great cultural diversity with strong pride amongst each and a summer filled with festivals representing them all on our third coast, fresh coast Lake Michigan. We have a brewery for every taste, James Beard award winning chefs, a thriving fresh food movement Santiago Calatrava architecture and people filled with Midwestern, wholesome values. A great music scene that has killer deals on concerts due to our proximity to Chicago and my favorite of all, amazing Polish bakeries and tons of world winning cheeses. The downside to this Midwest bliss, we have serious segregation problems and overpriced public transportation. Despite these factors, there is no place like home!

Emily said...

I never thought about rolling carts! Thanks for answering my question.

Maddy from MPDaily said...

Nice move! I grew up there and loved it xo

Magdalena Paulino said...

I have a love and hate relationship with NY. It's mostly love, but I can't imagine a life without a car or my own laundry machine.

www.therecordologist.blogspot.com
www.therecordologist.blogspot.com

Maddy from MPDaily said...

you are so wrong about the pizza. have you tried to get a slice in other cities? it is hardly possible.

FutureLint said...

My biggest problem with NYC is the smell of hot garbage juice leaking all over in the summer - ew! But I live in Minneapolis, which I think is the most perfect city on Earth! Yeah, it's cold as heck, but we've got skyways for a reason!

Anna said...

That episode when you got mugged!!! Could only happen in NY...

shannon oneil said...

i lived in san francisco for a few years and I 'd have to agree on most of those!
i have 2 more to add:

- public transportation is DISGUSTING! its always hot and stinky and i'm sure we've all seen someone throw up on there!

- tons of homeless. around every corner.

Nicner said...

Every city has its not so glamorous side, and it look s like you're just concentrating on the unglamorous side of NYC. NYC isn't perfect, which makes it more interesting and exciting -- every day/week/month/season isn't the same. Unlike some other city that is trying to be perfect and sanitized, but bland and characterless. And the pizza tastes like cardboard? Maybe the $1 slices but at least there's a pizza place on almost every corner. Unlike that blandified and sanitized city where one has to drive for a slice (decent or otherwise) of pizza.

Ellen said...

We don't have a car & we use a backpacking backpack to shop...

Amber Marlow said...

Wash n' Fold is the way to go. I hate the laundromat. But... holy expensive!

Amanda Smith said...

LA's got the traffic and the smog! We've also got bubbleheads and fake boobs. But the weather is undeniably lovely.

Jill said...

We just visited NYC without the kids for the first time in 6 years and were reminded of the "streets filled with garbage" thing. It's so smelly to have bags and bags of garbage just sitting on the sidewalk where people walk - I feel like there must be a whole career to be made of photoshopping all the garbage out of street scenes in NYC from movies!

Shannon said...

I just moved to San Francisco a few months ago and am convinced it's going to take me forever to get used to all the crazies around here...

Lauren said...

It's Allston/Brighton-- It was called "Rock City" in the 70's because of all the musicians and "Rat City" is a take off of that! Honestly though, I think all of Boston is Rat City. I see them everywhere and there are so many ancient nooks and crannies for them to hide in!

A French Cloud said...

We just moved to Santa Barbara California and I must say we LOVE being here! The only negative thus far (but comparable to NYC) is the exorbitant housing costs. BUT saying that... $700,000 for a 1200 sq ft fixer upper where it's an average of 70 degrees all year and you're always 5-10 minutes from the beach...it doesn't seem too high!

Shanti Knight said...

In the time that I've lived in NYC, I've decided that even if you can handle with total ease and calm every other aspect of living in this crazy/awesome town, including witnessing nudity on the subway and spending inordinate amounts of time being smashed between walls and strangers who don't smell nice, grocery shopping will drive you bonkers. BONKERS. The aisles are so narrow they barely fit two shopping carts going opposite directions, so if you need to get by, it helps if you spent some time in childhood playing that roadtrip game Traffic Jam (they had it when I was a kid...). If you forgot something and need to backtrack in the store, that could set you back 10 full minutes when you have to fight against the stream of shoppers coming toward you. The lines, especially around 4-7 pm, are absurdly long. It's typical for them to stretch well into the actual shopping area, even with the organizing efforts of double-lining and line-corralling staff. So when you're shopping you also have to dodge the people in line who are standing in front of what you need and are aggressively defensive of their spot in that line, so they'll only give you a little bit of space to get at what you need. (Of course, when you're the one in line, it's also anxiety-inducing to constantly have people leaping in front of you to grab something from the shelf next to which you happen to be standing while you watch the person in front of you (finally!) shuffle forward and feel the intense need to tailgate them like you really are in a traffic jam so no one tries to cut you in the line.) And on top of all of this... New Yorkers, who are so accustomed to having anything and everything they could want squashed onto their tiny island, are extremely demanding with their food preferences. A grocery store with less than twelve bins of fresh olives of different types has a small selection, and people who want starfruit, goat milk or kombucha can find what they need in a corner shop. For me, sometimes all it takes is stepping into Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Fairway for my anxiety and crabby mood to start, and I know I'm not alone in this. When we can be upset by what are truly some of the most incredible and fascinating grocery stores in the country, you know we're spoiled :)

Carrie Michiko said...

well, these are hilarious. finally someone speaks about the NON-glamorous details about new york ha!

xxCarrie

http://www.alittledose.com

Shanti Knight said...

@Nicner... if you'd kindly read the intro to this post:

"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..."

Obviously not her typical focus. Just sayin'.

bisbee said...

I love NY - I was born in Manhattan and lived in the Bronx until I was 7...but I've lived in Maryland for over 50 years, so I'm not sure how much that counts! We recently spent a long weekend in NYC visiting our daughter, who lives and works there (she lives in the West Village with a roommate in a tiny apartment). We took a train up, took her to see 2 shows (Pippin and Kinky Boots), took her to dinners and brunch, along with her girlfriend once and our nephew once. We went on a walking food tour of Chelsea Market. Took cabs. Stayed 3 nights in an Inn in the West Village. All to the tune of $3000.00. NO shopping! We had a great time, and we'll do it again, of course, but it is incredibly expensive - and the Inn was quite reasonable for the city, but for 3 nights with tax it still cost over $800!

K said...

Oh, Los Angeles. Where you get used to helicopters buzzing throughout the night, the occasional gang shooting on the street keeps real estate prices from being TOO crazy (although they're getting there), and your life gets interrupted by film shoots. I'm tempted to go on just to keep people from moving here, b/c I want all of it for myself.

HannahT said...

people not letting everyone off the train before they get on!! RUDE! And that guy who always leans his entire body on the center subway poll when the train is crowded, forcing you to hold the pole up against his sweaty back!! WORST!

this video is pretty funny: http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6922077/nyc-tourist-tips-from-an-italian-puppet

Megan C. Stroup said...

What a great idea for a post! Thanks for your honesty about the more unglamorous aspects of NYC life.

Emily said...

Apart from the cardboard pizza and getting mugged, this sounds a lot like living in Paris!

Nicole said...

I totally agree! I lived in Manhattan for 10 years and moved to Brooklyn last year, where the shopping is frustrating due to lack of options if you don't have a car. We use Fresh Direct and I miss choosing my own produce though being reminded of "rush hour" shopping is enough to make me glad I don't have to endure that any longer!

Natalie said...

Our family relocated from Brooklyn to the Michigan suburbs last year. I'll always love NY but I am now in love with our house (and our mortgage is cheaper than our Bklyn 1-bedroom apt), the quiet, our dishwasher/washer & dryer, yard, ease of getting around in our car. The job opportunities don't compare to those of NYC, though. For now it's a tradeoff for improved quality of life. Lugging laundry down the block became too much to handle with our infant son. I'll always love NY though, even the garbage bags covering the sidewalks, and I'll always remember the time a rat ran straight across my shoe on a walk home from the subway one night. :) In NY it's always about getting out of the way!

amoscari said...

BEDBUGS!!!!! And the overwhelming fear of them!

Sarah Clark said...

If you do have a car you can get stuck on your block for 30 minutes behind a garbage truck, with 3 impatient kids in the back, just trying to get out of the city for the weekend!

Sarah Clark said...

But I know, I love you too NYC!

Samantha H. said...

Dominican Republic. Anything that's easy to get in other countries, is hard to get here. Anything that's hard to get in other countries, is so easy to get here. Everyone has been mugged at least once. Public transport isn't the best, so lots of people own a car, no matter how old/damaged it is, so imagine a small city like Santo Domingo with 2 million people and all these cars! (the traffic jams are crazy, and happen for pretty much no reason). Even being a mixed race country, there a lot of racism in expensive and "elite" places, like restaurants/bars/etc, and most of them are ridiculously expensive. And there's mosquitoes like everywhere. But it's a BEAUTIFUL country. The beaches, rivers, mountains, it's like paradise. And most of us are very nice people :) so come anyway.

Champagne Sunday said...

lol re: the mugging picture. I miss my old hometown too. I made the one mistake once of walking home from the subway with the iPod (back when it weight 1lb) and headphones in my ears. Suffice to say, I was mugged, but instead of giving up everything, I held onto my iPod. Yes, bold but dumb.

Cheers!
www.champagnesundayliving.com

The Slick Mom said...

I'm in SF. Homelessness is a HUGE problem. And the streets are dirty. People are cavalier about littering. As for driving, people are reckless. No turn signals, cutting you off, double parking... no one follows any rules.

BUT, I love it here. The food, the climate, the proximity to wine country, tahoe, ocean... can't beat it.

Maywyn Studio said...

What I remember about being in NYC is the subway dirt, blowing the subway dust out of my nose, washing my hair, and people (not me) will sometimes have sex behind park benches.

thisisforyou said...

i dont know what pizza you are eating!!??

decides2dream said...

seriously - you have NO idea what great pizza is if you think NYC pizza tastes like cardboard.

Prêt à Voyager said...

MILLE MERCIS for the shout out! ... As always, love Gemma's illustrations :)

Aimee said...

I live in a city and there are usually taxis hanging out in the grocery story parking lot for people who bought more than they can carry home! I always get a basket, not a cart, so that I know I won't buy more than I can carry. But on big Target trips I break out the granny cart link Grace Ann.

withlovefromjacpfef.com said...

Girlll, if you want to try cardboard pizza, try venturing south of Jersey. As displaced New Yorkers living in Virginia Beach, we've searched for good pizza EVERYWHERE, to no avail. Now, every time I'm in NY for work, I try to bring back a pie for my guy. It's probably the thing he misses most about home!

For me, New York does pizza, Chinese, and bagels right.

Kathryn Farwell said...

Lugging groceries home has to be the worst for me. I once had so many that I had to take a cab home...and then left one of the bags in the cab.

Christine said...

many of the reasons I could never live there. We do love coming for visits, though! We're actually coming with our almost 9 month old daughter next week! I'm a little nervous about a cross-country flight (from CA), but excited to explore with her :) This will be our 4th trip there in 3 years, first time with our daughter! And our first fall trip..hoping we don't freeze!

diane said...

I just moved from nyc in january, after living there 10 years...although I still work there . I definitely have a huge love/hate relationship with it! When I lived there I just felt like day to day tasks were always SUCH A BIG ORDEAL! To go anywhere took forever on the subway and even longer by car. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Buying a birthday card. Everything takes longer and is just ANNOYING. But I did love it when I lived there, but I love it even more now that I just work there.

Patricia.L.Bates said...

I'm in law school here and have recently made the decision to move back to my Charlotte, NC hometown after graduation. Grocery shopping is huge. If I go to the Duane Reade close to me, there's a lot I can't get. If I go all the way to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, there's stuff they don't have either. If I go still even further to D'Agostino's, I really have to cut down on what I get because it's too hard to carry. Screw it. I'll just pay extra to have FreshDirect delivered. But carrying grocery bags is a great arm work out. Also excited about having a normal-sized and normal-priced apartment and having trees and grass everywhere instead of localized to Central Park, which I do love... but you just don't always have time to go to because you're crazy busy all the time! And most importantly, the mood is just friendlier back in the South. People are friendly, and you can be friendly back because you don't feel like it might be a trick to start talking you into donating to their cause or just mug you. And the pizza really is not very good here! And GASP the bagels aren't that good either! So there. I said it.

Peggy Snider said...

Driving in the city. Somehow, always, you leave the subway feeling dirty. People who don't understand the right side of the sidewalk is for walking. And everybody's always honking!

I'm in San Francisco now. :)

Mirela said...
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Roxy Khan said...

There are surely bad and good things about every place. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and good God, the driving and traffic. I once lived less than a mile from my gym and still drove there, that's just what we do!

I now live in a small town in Oregon. It's pretty magical, but there are downsides here too. For instance, there are a LOT of hippies and vagrants roaming around. It's not a normal day until some dude dressed as a pirate who smells like a foot tells you your pretty and asks for your leftovers. Also this place is bizarrely UN-dog-friendly. You can't even take your pooch in the park.

Laura D said...

I don't think I could deal with the teeny tiny spaces and all the people! That sounds weird, but I'm just not used to having that many people around me all the time :) I do love visiting NYC, though

http://greenmountainglobetrotter.blogspot.com/

Karen said...

I live in DC, and while the city itself is fabulous, the metro (train) is terrible. Absolutely TERRIBLE.

monkeylovesbear said...

I really hope a NY resident answers this comment because I am just so damn curious... so, if everyone lives in teeny tiny apartments, how do all NY bloggers seem to own sooo many clothes and how the heck do they store them without their homes looking like a mountain of clothes (read: nice clothes you wouldn't want to fold up and shove into a corner of a drawer). I live in Toronto and share a 730 sq. ft. condo with my husband and we rotate our spring/summer & fall/winter clothes (i.e. one set is always kept in storage in a locker at the bottom of our building) and we seem to own half the clothes the NY bloggers do and struggle with keeping our closet/drawers looking sane. Sorry for the lengthy comment - just wanted to give some background as I have always been perplexed by this...

Jessica Burns said...

SF is the best city! The best!! I love it here, but there are a lot of crazy people/ homeless people around, which leads to some very dirty streets in some areas. Also, I get super irritated at the tourists doing things like blocking the entire escalator and stopping in the middle of the sidewalks to take pictures....

missris said...

I absolutely love Chicago, but the winters just about do me in every year. They're just so long! The year it snowed on my birthday (May 1) I actually cried. But when summer does finally roll around, it's absolutely, totally worth it. As long as you avoid Michigan Avenue and the throngs of tourists, that is :)

139Photo said...
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Gabby White said...

I've been really lucky to be living in Rome, Italy for two years, but these things drive me nuts:

1) In a city where cars are totally impractical to have (narrow streets, crazy gas prices, terrible roads in general), public transportation is surprisingly horrendous! It's limited (we have two metro lines in an X shape... TWO!), unreliable (the buses virtually stop running during Italian lunch hours, from 12-2pm), and it's subject to frequent strikes. You get a scooter or basically get stranded.

2) So Romans are car and scooter-crazy because they have to be, but there is NO parking in this city. This is why Italians are so infamous for their creative parking jobs. Cars absolutely choke the city up at every turn. To walk down a narrow street, I often have to flatten my back against the wall as cars pass. I often have to walk in the road because cars have parked on the sidewalk.

3) The garbage cans are always full or overflowing, so people pile trash at the bottom of the bins. The trash collection in this city is atrociously lax. And people are totally apathetic about it.

4) Everyone litters. Everyone.

5) There's a ton of really ugly, really unimpressive graffiti that never gets cleaned.

6) Romans are crazy for dogs and take them everywhere-- grocery stores, buses, you name it-- but they never clean up after their pooches outside! Sidewalks in residential neighborhoods like Monteverde are the worst.

I love you Rome, but get your act together!

Bethany said...

I live in the Chicago burbs and the thing that drives me bonkers is the parking fare. The metra (which takes you into the city from the burbs) doesn't intersect with El lines closely enough to get to different city neighborhoods, so we wind up driving more often than we'd like just to save time, but man is it expensive. Makes me want to cry.

Julia Neary said...

I live in Le Cannet, France (about 10 minutes outside Cannes) and I love it here... but there is no policy about picking up dog poop, so some side walks will literally be covered and you have to tip toe around it. I have a dog and sometimes the dog parks should be called poo parks because there is no room for him to actually play. Other than that it is a pretty amazing place to live. C'est la vie!

Emmerson Hayes said...

I almost bought a $4.00 cookie at West Elm Market in Dumbo, until I realized it was $4.00 so I saved my money for the cookie/cupcake shop down the street where $4.00 gets you heaven in a wrapper.

My most favorite thing about New York is how amazing all my meals are at restaurants when I go to visit my sister and her hubby and son, in Williamsburg. There is nothing better than hangin with her and her little one strapped on to her front (or her hubbys) and eating the most amazing eggs Benedic's ever.

Emmerson Hayes said...

p.s. that onion article was awesome...thanks for including that :)

Anna Sjönell said...

Totally agree! I have bought a $4 cookie to many times..

Becca said...

This is so good!

New Haven, Connecticut also has a lot to love/hate!

Katie said...

I've lived in San Francisco for 13 years and love it here, but it does have its less-than-glamorous side. The homeless situation is out of control. Every morning I pass at least one person sleeping on the sidewalk between my apartment and the muni stop two blocks away--as well as their fecal matter, since there aren't public facilities available to them (as far as I can tell). It's ironic that condos are popping up on every corner around me and starting prices are $1 million. I wonder if things will change--or these people will be in for a surprise when they discover they paid a lot of money to have their front doorway serve as a shelter and toilet. Litter is a problem, too, as the city keeps removing more and more trash bins from the sidewalks--there's no place to dispose of trash or bagged dog poop, so it all ends up on the sidewalk.
Those issues aside, this city is fabulous! :)

everythinginbetween7 said...

i am originally from Los Angeles but living in Charlotte, NC now. Lot's of unglamorous things about Charlotte! it's 'ok' - people are a little crazy here. they don't believe in culture and/or all dress the same! no individuality... Also, churches on every corner. but hey! the weather is nice!

Marie Adamo said...

I live in Vancouver. Things that drive me crazy: how expensive it is!! (I read an article at the beginning of the year comparing cost of living in different cities, and Vancouver was supposed to be most expensive in all of North America- beating out NYC even...) Also, the rain... we are having a good fall so far, but normally I can go through all of Oct and Nov without seeing the sun once.
Things I love: One of the most beautiful cities in the world, especially in spring and summer (though it does stay green all winter). Ocean, mountains, forest and a vibrant urban scene all in one. It's completely walkable, with cool little complete communities all over the place. Very clean and green (environmentally friendly). And it's in Canada, which is something to love in itself.

Cara said...

This is EXACTLY how San Francisco is, and it bugs me, but I just can't leave. I will say that you can get a good pizza here BUT you will have to walk up 5 hills on the way there and 5 hills on the way home to get it (yes, its possible). There are always compromises with the big cities. Then you catch a glimpse of the skyline, or a perfect fall night and you realize that all of the unpleasant things are totally worth it.

dakotabee said...

Hahahaha! Thank god for you, seriously.
Everyones always like "I love my life I love my city I am the happiest in the world" your honesty makes this blog so so so worth my time to read every day.

Dakota
dakotabee.wordpress.com

Nicole H.S. Kaufmann said...

Joanna, I need to take you on a serious pizza tour. You are missing out.

@monkeylovesabear - the ones who don't cook keep shoes and bags in their ovens and microwaves, shower at the gym and use their curtain rod for hanging; everything goes in and out of storage and building storage; many clothes are lent and/or sold seasonally on eBay, etc...after they've been given them for free!

Josie said...

In my neighborhood (Washington Heights) the guy who packs your groceries will actually bring it to your apartment for a couple of dollars. They use the same shopping car from the supermarket. Because we have soooo many supermarkets and stores around, it is usually a 3 or 4 blocks walk.

meaghantothemax said...

I live in Jordan, and it's so hard to walk anywhere! There are trees planted in the middle of the sidewalks all over - and if not, there's a dumpster, a car, or a big hole. But we have amazing falafel and the weather is great (except in the summer when it's too hot!).

measuredinweeks said...

Regarding cardboard pizza: New York has some great pizza. It also has a lot of mediocre pizza, which it can get away with because it's pizza made in New York City and people will eat it because it's pizza made in New York City.

Regarding laundromats: They discipline you. My husband and I lived in a building with a laundry room our first year in the city, and it would take us all day to do laundry because we just let it linger - go back up to the apt., drink some coffee, watch an entire movie. As did everyone else in the building, including those who took up 92% of the machines. Because you live with these folks, you don't want to start any laundry-etiquette feuds, and, though awesome, passive-aggressive notes are not effective. Having to take your laundry to the laundromat makes you finish your task completely and quickly. And in my experience, laundromat attendants are vigilant about monitoring machines. Once you're done you must empty, and they'll call out your machine number, so that even if you're caught up in listening to WFUV and reading weeks-old New Yorkers (because laundromat is the perfect excuse to do both these things undisturbed by household duties), you know your laundry is done. It's not rude; it's efficient, which is best for everyone.

However, the three months we had our newborn in cloth diapers and were visiting the laundromat every third day made us wish we had laundry at least in the building if not in the apartment itself. We switched to 7th Generation disposables, but that's not the laundromat's fault ...

Lori | Wild and Grizzly said...

I live in Bristol, UK with my husband Paul and son Felix. It's just been voted the best city in the UK to live which is happy news for us :) It has a great artist culture here, buzzing city vibe but a stones throw from the countryside and an super close to the coast and Cornwall is not too far away either. Mind I often wonder whether it would be fun to live in a different city for a while like NYC, San Francisco or Paris. x

www.wildandgrizzly.blogspot.co.uk

Nora N said...

lol I love this and usually boosts my "i don't care to travel to a big city" train of thought..i like the country better =)
although idk what I would do without a car, dishwasher, and washer/dryer!!

laurenfoode.com said...

You took the words RIGHT out of my mouth! I must say this once a week. First it's sharing a space with your roommate, then you're pressed up against someone's arm pit on the subway, then you're shuffling down the street with commuters, then you're at work, then it's the equally crowded commute home, then once home you can hear your neighbors fighting/doin' it/watching TV/having parties... it's constant!

kasigrassi said...

Agree on all points about Chicago, especially the resent public transportation fiasco (damn ventra!). One thing about Chicago that I think is by-neighborhood is rats as well... on my street I hear mothers chiding their children in Spanish for jumping in puddles for fear of drowned rats after rain storms!

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Haha! I used to live in Rome and your #6 about Romans and their dogs really resonated with me. Every morning I would carefully sidestep the mosaic of dog poo that dotted the streets and sidewalks. One morning I saw woman, elegant in her full length fur coat and posh heels, waiting as her toy poodle pooped on the sidewalk. Then she reached into the pocket of her mink and pulled out a wad of tissue. I thought omigod THIS is the person - the very first person I've seen in all of Rome - who will clean up her dog's poo? She leaned down, wiped her dog's bottom, tossed the tissue next to the steaming pile, and strode off down the street...

emitortiz said...

Love the illustrations by Gemma Correll! One of my dreams is to illustrate for you!

Emi

www.emitortiz.wordpress.com

laurenfoode.com said...

For me, it's all about creative storage! I have half a closet to myself and one dresser. But if you looked under my bed... it's PACKED with storage containers. I swap out my winter and summer clothes as necessary and am constantly donating things I don't wear anymore to make room for new items. My BF and I have a rule, you buy something new, you give something away.

I know lots of other people have storage units. A friend even rents a big space in Connecticut because it's cheaper, and travels up there twice a year to swap out clothes!

Eternal*Voyageur said...

I´d rather live in Berlin: no rats, cheap and good food, cheap housing, very safe, and did I mention it´s all cheap?

M.M. said...

I live in S.F. (and love it) but more times than I can count I've said while walking down the street/riding the bus/pedaling through a park -- "Is that human poop?"

Anna said...

You've inspired me. I'm totally going to do a post about unglamorous Los Angeles! There are sooooo many things that suck about living in LA.
MisadventuresinMotherhood

reckless daughter said...

I laughed out loud at several of these. esp. the model bit and "rat time" haha...ew.... I live in LA but have been plotting to move to NY for a couple of years now. I think it's gonna happen next year!

Meadow said...

Yeah... I can't imagine living there. Not the place for me. I am sure I'd love to visit. I see NY kinda as I see London.. fun to visit, but only good to live in if you're extremely wealthy.

girlseeksplace said...

I've always wanted to live in NYC, even if it's just for six months or a year to get the experience and say I did it, but holy mother! $10 for lemonade? That's insane. The car I could live without. Ditto the dishwasher. The rats would throw me over the edge. I don't do rodents. I'll squish bugs and be around cats and dogs, but rodents make me shiver.

Natalie said...

SHUT UP did Alex seriously chat it up with Karolina Kurkova? What a stud!

Elisa Ruehlmann said...

Love this! I live in Seattle and we have many of the same problems ($4 cookies, $6 lemonade, lines at restaurants if you get there after 5pm, tiny living quarters and children who forget what the sun looks like during the winter). I feel like I have to defend Seattle a lot, though. Yes, it's expensive and rains all the time, but the summers are spectacular. 75 and sunny, with uncrowded beaches. Minimal crime! Laid back lifestyle + legal marijuana. And laundry machines in every building :)

Lsia C said...

OMG yes, Hannah. I live in DC and while i love it, "metro etiquette" , or lack there of, drives me INSANE. I could go on and on but the man leaning on the pole with his entire body is the worst, as well as young healthy people pretending to "read" or stare at their phones while the old lady looks for a seat. There have been many times where I've almost BURST in anger at these people haha. I need a life, I suppose.

Anna said...

I love that story!

Gabby White said...

That story is beyond hysterical. No real surprises there, hey? :)

J.Elizabeth said...

Joanna -

You mentioned your new apartment is going to get COLD this winter. I saw this and thought of you and your little ones. How adorable is that?! http://shechive.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/berry-break-2619.jpg

Emmy M. said...

Haha, I'm from there as well. It's always funny going grocery shopping and having it seem like everyone got a memo about a uniform for running errands except you- and that uniform consists of a Packers jersey and sweat pants.

abigial arteaga said...

Love this as well! I live in San Antonio, Texas. I guess every City has its problems. Although real estate is relatively cheap, if you don't have a good job in a professional industry, you can't afford a good area of town. There are homeless all over our downtown and other random locations. They built a homeless campus for them near the downtown, but many feel that it has made it worse instead of better. Lots of thugs, and want to be thugs. Weather - As a native Texan, i should be used to the heat. But in the last 29 years of life, I seem to tolerate it less and less. IT IS ALWAYS HOT! No real seasons, except summer. The one day there are snow flurries, the City shuts down. You are tired of pizza? I am tired of Mexican food (and I am Hispanic). That is all there seems to be here. Our City can be pretty segregated as well, but it's more of an income thing, than race. I guess nowhere is perfect.

Rlb tuolles said...

You know who has the best pizza (according to Trip Advisor)? San Diego. San Diego has glamorous beaches and sceneries; also supposedly lacks rats; has wide aisled supermarkets; no models who wouldn't giggle-gaggle at you; glamorous warm weather most of the time; huge apartments with laundromats. How about moving there? 12 years in NYC and you're trashing it? Sorry, not sorry, that his comment isn't "nice". This post isn't very nice and an insult to New Yorkers. Please leave.

Emmy M. said...

Love Gemma Correll's illustrations.

I have to say, it's refreshing to see this post! I get so sick of New Yorkers complaining about living in New York and how expensive it is. It's like, yeah... you /chose/ to live there. If you want to raise your kids with a back yard, then don't live there! It's so simple! Commute. Or choose literally any other cool city to live in that's ten times more affordable and has fresher air. It boggles my mind, for instance, that someone would pay thousands of dollars per month to rent in NYC rather than start putting that money toward their kids' college funds.

Anyway, that said, New York is fabulous in many ways and I definitely disagree with you on the pizza. Lombardi's on Spring Street is my favorite.

I went to college in Chicago and that's where my heart is. Great neighborhoods, many of the cultural amenities of NYC, and just a nicer homier atmosphere. SO much more affordable, too.

aa31b8d4-3390-11e0-b088-000bcdcb471e said...

As a native new yorker I'll say: a) our pizza doesn't taste like carboard-- where have you been eating? NY has mostly awesome pizza but also a ton of not so good stuff b/c tourists/transplants will eat it regardless b/c of the allure of "it's new york pizza!" I've had both Chicago style [in Chi!] and actual Italian pizza from various Italian cities and I think neither really compare. I guess, it's all in what you are looking for. B) The small apartment is a socioeconomic [and... cultural, really] thing, no? My sisters live in massive apartments [in various neighborhoods, and for pretty good rates] with multiple rooms and space enough that you never *really* have to bump into anyone else; my family grew up in a brownstone we own and my parents are still there-- tons of space to spare! C) The washing machine, etc. again is a $$/where you live thing and also, again, just a cultural thing... if you want a massive suburban kitchen with all the electronics, new york isn't your town and one of the aforementioned sister's apartments has both a washing machine/dryer and dish washer. I've actually never in my life gone to a laundromat and I'm born/raised/still living in new york. Growing up/becoming an adult in new york has different benchmarks than say, Michigan, just like I'm sure those benchmarks are different everywhere. When people in the midwest turn 16 they get cars... here? we grow up on trains and taxis. Just different strokes... I'm always so confused about how transplants interpret my city. The rats and 90 min waits [make a reservation! eat at places that aren't the new it trend!]? I totally own up to! The expense is pretty comparable to other major cities [that and, again, you choose where you want to eat. Just bc in your circle there is a weird insistence on eating at not so good pizza places and over priced cafes doesn't mean that's just how it goes here. There are 4 dollar cookies and 10 dollar teas but that's also a choice you make vs. just the way things are.] There are tons of options but I feel like people who aren't from here get lots of thrills out of humble-bragging- complaining about the semi- bad choices they make once living here. You don't have to live in a 10 foot apartment [that is $5000/mo] and buy a 13 dollar coffee lol. You really don't. Also, [knock on wood] I've never been robbed in ny// don't feel less safe here than in other places.

Gina said...

I've never been in NYC but I live in Barcelona –since I was born– which is one of the most visited cities and everybody seems to love it; I also do, but living here can drive you crazy sometimes...
1) Summers are really hot. We have humid, sticky heat and sometimes is just asphyxiating.
2) Rents are ridiculously high. Not high as NYC, but ridiculously anyway.
3) Low-cost tourism. People come here just for the weekend –lots of stag and bachelorette parties–, get drunk with sangria and walk bare chest through the streets yelling. Really annoying.
4) Subway and bus tickets are very expensive and don't run at night (just on Saturday's night and till 2 a.m. on Friday) and night bus (owl service) is a joke, so you have to walk or take a taxi (not cheap).
5) Every family owns at least one car here, but parking rates are CRAZY.
6) Most restaurants in the centre of the city are over-priced and only tourists eat there. So if you are hungry you can go to a McDonald's/ pay for very bad tapas or keep feeling hungry. I always stay hungry (and foolish).
7) Dirty nasty pigeons everywhere. So we have flying rats in addition to normal rats.
8) If you own a business and you're catalan you can't have a free schedule unless you want to get in trouble with police. If you're chinese or pakistanese you can do whatever you want. (I'm NOT racist, but I don't understand this discrimination).
9) Everyone can buy drugs everywhere. And if you're in the centre of the city and is late than 21 p.m. you can't walk 20 metres without being offered "cerveza-beer-marihuana-haxix-coca-speed". Rude.

But despite these... I love my city and I don't imagine living anywhere else!

aa31b8d4-3390-11e0-b088-000bcdcb471e said...

Kinda with on that.... I've never heard a native new yorker say this stuff but transplants love to complain about the very things they signed up for. Ceratinly, you didn't think you'd be living in a super large, affordable mansion with backyard and luxury appliances. It's almost like a badge of honor to move here then complain about totally trite things. "Ohmygosh, new york is so crazy but... i just said i live in new york so there..." Boo :(

laurasaurus said...

Every time my boyfriend and I visit my parents in the suburbs we take luxurious trips to the grocery store with our car. Those wide aisles, parking lots and full-sized carts just make my heart sing. Grocery shopping in the city is the thing I complain about most. It just requires so much effort!

megan golden said...

Haha, I saw Karolina right by the highline last summer, too! And I'm so happy that you mentioned how horrific the pizza is.... I personally think dominos tastes better anyday! I'm originally from Boston, and the pizza there is absolutely to die for.

I love your list!

meg

http://www.twininthecity.com

Nicole said...

Thank you for admitting the pizza is not great! That was probably my biggest let down when I visited NYC!

Morgan said...

When we moved into our Brooklyn apartment, we were captivated by the charm (building was built in 1923) of the parquet floors, crown molding, clawfoot tub, etc etc. Now we constantly readjust the styrofoam wedged under corners of furniture due to our wonky old floors, the walls constantly have growing cracks and mysterious bumps due to that old molding, and the heavenly tub can't even be used for a soak because there is a mystery leak that the super (who lives under us) has given up trying to find.
This apartment is a metaphor for the whole city. On a great day, I love this city and it's thumping heartbeat you can just feel as you walk to and fro. But on a bad day, it's just a cracked up old apartment building with crooked floors.

Alejandra Ramos said...

Honestly, I don't really relate to any of these points. Cardboard pizza? Yeah, there are some crappy spots, but many more are pretty amazing. My apartment isn't tiny (and I'm in Manhattan), we have a dishwasher, and a laundry room. The model thing really depends on what part of the city you're in; I pretty much never see them. I was born here and have never been mugged. Neither have any of my friends. And there is absolutely NO reason to wait 90 minutes for a restaurant when there are billions of other options to go to. The illustrations are cute, but this is a pretty silly list.

Modern Grace said...

I hate waiting in lines, because I'm always in a line. haha I understand the model thing, but I have a feeling Karolina is pretty nice. I follow her on Pinterest. So it has to be true... :)

Katie said...

I still deeply miss the time I spent living in New York, and if it weren't for my unusual career (which causes me to move every few years), I would never have left. BUT sometimes when I think back to what we put up with, I'm just like, wait, WHAT? I was way too lazy to deal with laundry when I didn't have a washer/dryer, so I used to undergo the other NYC ritual: carrying an giant armful of my dirty underwear across the street to the place that does laundry by the pound.

However, I must say, I got to Washington, DC two months ago and have discovered an INSANE rat problem since I was last here--the rats here are just as large and unafraid of humans as the ones in NYC, and we have, like, pretty much nothing good here to balance that out...

Chrystin Gloria said...

I live in Buenos Aires, and I think the biggest negatives are all of the garbage in the streets and the deteriorating sidewalks and buildings. You can tell why at one point in time it was called "the Paris of South America" but nothing has been kept up the way it should. The beauty is definitely still there, but you have to look a little harder to find it. One of the things I really love about the city is that there is a lot of greenery here. The city is full of trees and different parks/plazas. Also, winters here are generally in the 50s and 60s which is amazing, but get prepared to sweat it out in the summer! But if you choose to stay in Buenos Aires in the summer and sweat it out, you will have the city to yourself---very peaceful and clean!

Nanna said...

London shares some of these issues, except here it's the hamburger that tastes like cardboard.

eatartword said...

Your list about NYC gripes is pretty spot on, with the exception of the pizza item (I know I'm not the first to comment on this). Do you usually get take out pizza? Perhaps the delivery box imparts the taste of cardboard.There's certainly lots of *awful* pizza in this town, but there's also incredibly awesome. For ex: Joe's on Carmine (for slices); John's on Bleecker (for pies), Two Boots ('non-traditional') and Di Fara's in Brooklyn for what many consider to be the best in the city! Nom nom nom

Abby said...

The thing that drove me crazy when I lived there (besides the laundromat, mugging, and rat issues) was how long it took to take the subway from Williamsburg to Queens. An hour and a half! They're practically next to each other!

ewg said...

Yes, the models! I will leave my apartment feeling just fine and then one steps on the subway and I'm all "oh craaaap, it's gonna be a bad day." The worst are those two horrible weeks a year, September and February, where they just multiply! (Doesn't help that my commute is the same as that of Fashion Weekers). Upside: Grace Coddington lives nearby so I see her every once in a while in the dry cleaners...!

lauriel said...

What a fun city humorous rant, and what adorable graphics! Gotta love the few cities in which reality seems to operate in a different dimension from the rest of the country.. I wish I lived in NYC, but love visiting! Now if you wanted to talk about SF's quirks... well, let's just say it won't be as glam and upscale as your model issues (we have bums strutting around instead), but... it's fun here too. :)

~ lauriel

www.EyeForElegance.com

Wendy said...

I'd take all of it and trade you Orlando - voted worst dressed city. Which would be accurate. Flip flops paired with socks does not = winter couture.

Helen said...

I can SO relate, after 6 years of living here, going on 7. The rats and the extremely ridiculous prices on cookies/coffee! I do have to say I love the pizza though, but probably because I'm no afficionado.

PS: I'm hosting a giveaway with Perricone MD skincare. I know you're barely getting any sleep with Anton, so feel free to check it out!

kaela said...

So glad I wasn't the only one thinking this. I'm a CO native and I live in Denver. I can't think of anything I don't like. I hear it's tough to find really good fresh seafood...but I don't eat that anyway so I'm all set. ;) I love to travel, but I love coming home to CO best!!

Melissa said...

Would you believe it if I said that the city I live in (Melbourne, Aus) is even more expensive - both in cost of living and rent- than NYC?!

Jannatul Rahamoni said...

you forgot to mention about cockroaches !! ewwwww
I can't believe this shityy insect walking all around NYC

Katers said...

Haha. I just moved to the Milwaukee area and I had the same thoughts. You can't go anywhere without seeing someone in their Packers attire. Kills me.

Noelle Girard said...

I just wanted to say that the illustrations accompanying this (very funny) article are totally adorable. I love them.

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