NYC Life Lesson #8: Things People Not From NYC Find Funny About NYC

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Moving to the city in my early 20s, I would say the California way of life is pretty engrained in my 5’5 frame (5’6 on a good day). I get claustrophobic walking within large crowds (ahem, Times Square), I have to see some sort of nature once a day, I consider it a successful day when I can wear sandals and sunglasses, and I’ve almost gotten use to the lack of space constricting every corner of the city. But no matter how long I chose to live in NYC, there are some things that will never stop being ridiculously funny to me. These are those things:

Home Depots in the city.

I stumbled upon a Depot the other day while looking for an animal romper (obviously!) in the Flatiron District and immediately found my curiosity drawing me inside. How can this store exist here?! For one, everything is so large in this store there is no way it can be carried home. Not one thing is small enough for a normal person to take from the store to their apartment. And second, who is doing home repair in the city? Who can afford to own their own place and THEN afford to renovate it themselves? It’s a puzzle that will never be solved.

Children on the subway.

For me, watching a kid navigate the subway is like watching a red panda tap dance, it’s unnatural and yet, I can’t turn away.

The annoyance everyone has at fire trucks.

There is nothing drivers/ pedestrains seem to dislike more than having to get out of the way for a fire engine blaring down the street. People actually sigh in annoyance! What are you people doing?! Do you think that engineer wants to drive his un-parkable engine down 10th street for the fun of it? Sorry, this companies’ saving of lives is making you 25 seconds late for your appointment with a Starbucks barista and a fancy gluten-free/non-fat/non-diary latte.

How $4 for a small coffee/ice tea quickly becomes normal.

Sometimes, right before the barista calls my name for the tiny ice tea I ordered, I find myself reminiscing about the days when an actual large ice tea cost only $2.50. Now I just find myself arguing with the cashier that this dixie cup is in no way a large unless you’re a squirrel and your paws are abnormally tiny. But in the last month, I’ve stopped questioning the coffee/tea antics of NYC and come to just enjoy the fact that people have stopped trying to serve me Snapple or passion tea. Tiny triumphs.

How drivers speed up when they see pedestrians.

While Los Angeles is known for its soul-sucking traffic, it has nothing on New York City, whose drivers never slow down no matter the amount of pedestrians trying to cross the street. It’s almost like my walk to work is a continual game of Frogger that always ends with a semi-truck blocking the entire cross walk because he didn’t want to miss the light.

The smell of urine is always just around the corner from your romantic moment.

For example, I’m a huge HUGE fan of the rain. I firmly believe it can cure any bad luck, sadness, or heartbreak. But in New York, the rain is accompanied by the most intense smell of dog (or human, it’s NYC) urine possible. It just seeps up from the earth as though to say, “Oh, did you want to reenact ‘Singing in the Rain’ or that one steamy ‘Notebook’ kiss? Ha, just try! I dare you!”

 The greatest lesson one can learn is to always walk behind tall people or people who smell really good.

The reasoning: Tall people will part the crowd anywhere from 10th street to Times Square, and due to their long strides, you’ll never find yourself wishing they would just move a little bit faster. Good smelling people on the other hand, well they’re just so hard to come by that you need to hold onto these moments while you can. Because trust me, the minute you leave that little perfume bubble they created for you, the smell of subway sweat, cigarettes, pigeons, and bus exhaust will be back and more powerful than ever.

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