Living in a big city is a unique experience. I often find myself saying, “oh, that’s so New York.” Most of it is not good or bad, it just—is. Sometimes it’s so different from how I grew up, that I catch myself being like, whaaat?! And sometimes I don’t even notice it until someone from out of town comments on it—which is also funny because when did these things become normal?!
Here is what got me thinking about what is “so New York.”
Back up. Before I explain the story, I need to explain my apartment. It is tiny. It is not the smallest apartment in the world—-buuuut pretty close. 🙂 Being tiny means there are not that many windows, and the windows we do have are also tiny—to match the house, obviously. And we don’t face any direct sunlight. We face the backs of buildings—which is actually pretty good for a New York apartment. Our one view is almost like a courtyard of buildings….basically, there is no direct sunlight and the light we do get is just reflected off other buildings. It is so dark that my husband literally said today, “do we even know when the sun is up in this house?!” So-it’s dark.
Back to the story.
It has be fairly cold here recently, and I also just had a baby, so I haven’t gone outside a lot—for several days in a row. Finally I mustered up the energy (and faked the stamina) to take a trek outside. With only one of my children—the older one—because heaven forbid I try to take both outside by myself-that’s going to have to wait a little while. Anyway, we walk outside and it was so bright outside that my daughter and I were both blinded by the light. As in we couldn’t even open our eyes. As in we sat there blinking and scrunching and batting to no end. I can only imagine what the non-New Yorkers were thinking: did they both get something in their eyes at the same time? Did they just get their eyes checked? Did they just run into a wall and poke their eyes…something along those lines I’m sure…Obviously the New Yorkers would take one look at us and say, oh yep, they live in a dark apartment too and then they would just keep on walkin’. So, we just kept standing there right outside our door covering our eyes and saying, “It’s sooooo bright!” Like we were some kind of vampires or werewolves or evil witches from the west (or is it east?) or maybe just owls…haha. That’s so New York.
On a completely related note—one of my daughter’s first words was BRIGHT! That’s so New York.
***disclaimer-not all New York City apartments are that dark, but a lot of them are, and those that aren’t—nobody lives in them because they live at work in order to afford them…but seriously***
There seems to be a rite of passage for kids in New York City for when they turn 2. For every child’s second birthday, he or she gets a scooter and a helmet. My daughter got a “bah-looo” (blue) scooter and a bee helmet. Every two year old has one. This is how they get around the city. A TWO YEAR OLD! For real?! TWO? And you know what? My two year old is pretty good at scootering around…That’s so New York.
In connection to this, because we walk (scooter) around everywhere, we set up rules and, luckily, my daughter actually follows them. The rule for scootering is that when we come to a street, she has to stop and hold my hand across the street. She does it. Every time (thank goodness). So when we have visitors come, they get all freaked out and worried because she is scootering so fast ahead and they think she is going to just go right into the street! But we are used to it, because that’s just what we do! Soooo two-year-old-New York!
Just a typical day of getting around.
Scootin in THE park (Central Park).
Bringing the scooter into the Apple store.
There are a million things I could write and lest I bore you… here’s a snapshot:
- I know exactly how many items I can get at the grocery store since I have to carry them home (18-21)
- Children sleep in closets. Don’t be appalled. Everyone does it.
- My daughter’s bed has to be narrow enough to fit through the doorway so we can pull her out of our room and into the kitchen so we can sleep in our room.
- My stroller is my car.
- I have to give Vitamin D supplements to my kids since we don’t see enough sun.
- We share our house with mice and cockroaches.
- I have to layer my clothing when I go outside because I can’t just walk out and see how cold/warm it is. Well, I mean, I could, but that would mean trudging up and down 2 flights of ridiculously long stairs…So usually I just have a million things on and then strip down when I get outside…
That’s so New York—and I kind of love it!