Aug 24, 2010

Love and Hate in the City

New York, New York.  If you can make it there...

So I'm back in my favourite city (outside of Paris, obviously).  And it's raining.  So instead of being out and about and on my way to a movie in Bryant Park, I'm stuck indoors and so can entertain you with what I love about this city - and what drives me nuts.

I love that random strangers talk to each other.  And not because they're trying to get into your pants, or sell you a pair, but just because they're feeling chatty and want to share.  I can see how it could unsettle some of the more introverted among us, but I'm the type that has to be forcibly stopped from striking up conversations with my local prostitute, so New York is my idea of heaven.

I hate that tax and tip are never included, not even in stores, so the slightest activity involving the exchange of money (and in New York, that's pretty much all activity) means having to pull out a calculator or risk having a heart attack when you're told the final price.  Or both.

I love the concept of the salad bar.  Not a uniquely New York thing, but definitely very prevalent in the city.  Salad bars epitomize everything that is wonderful about New York.  Diversity.  Freedom.  Constant availability.  Do you want a salad composed of a kilo of cherry tomatoes and a couple mushrooms on top?  You can do that.  Fancy some green beans with your lettuce?  Why the hell not.  And you can find salad bars anywhere, even in supermarkets.  It's positively orgasmic.  Please, please, I beg you, couldn't some entrepreneurial fellow launch salad bars in Paris?

I hate the taxis.  Granted, they're easy to find.  But nothing else about them is good.  The drivers get hopelessly lost as soon as you aim for anywhere outside the grid (basically, anywhere below 14th street).  The cars are dirty, small and uncomfortable.  And those damn television screens make me want to vomit and punch someone, not necessarily in that order.

Finally, I love that I never have time to do everything I want to do.  There's just too much going on in New York.  Even free stuff.  Even stuff for when it's raining.  Even stuff in the middle of the night.

On that note, time to get ready for an INSEAD dinner.


paris (im)perfect said...

I am so jealous you're in New York right now - even rainy New York. Because you are so right! It really is my favorite city, too. (I mean, it's duking it out with Paris, too).

But the talking to strangers thing? The ultimate thing I miss about the city? I mean, I actually picked up *boyfriends* (that I really liked!) by randomly talking on the subway. Imagine that happening in Paris!

And yes, it's not just about being picked up. I talked to everyone. So freeing. Sigh. Someone come talk to me.

As for the others. Yes, to salad bars. I never take taxis, so that's not an issue for me. But yeah, the taxes and tip. That's the one thing Paris has over New York. I always forget when I go back that the price I see is not *actually* the price I will pay. What's up with that?

Have a great time!

stallie said...

Love and hate bring tons of inspiration to life!!!