[photo: peter lindberg for vogue, but if you’re a New Yorker you knew that]
I’m just back in Los Angeles after a week in New York, city. I used to just call it “the city” because that’s the east coast way, but now I have to specify because I am a defector.
I spent many of my days in New York City running around in a shoe with a heel that I thought was short enough for running around. It wasn’t, which is a bummer because six years ago when I lived in New York a heel three inches taller and five inches thinner was like a flat to me.
While I tried-but-failed to walk as briskly as I used to walk (literally. I had to stop and catch my breath twice) I noticed so many interesting things about what the kids in Manhattan are doing fashion, food and life style-wise. Here, in no particular order, are my seven favorite things.
1. They are smoking
Not vaping like the fools here in LA. Smoking cigarettes like real, old-school idiots. It was alarming and annoying but also oddly cool, which is something I regret feeling but cannot help.
2. They are having way better behaved dogs than you
Or than me, at least. New Yorkers old-and-young, rich-and-slightly-less-rich were walking dogs of every size on the busiest, loudest, most jam-packed sidewalks with absolutely no incident. By comparison, my dog scurries up my entire body at the sight of a single real estate lawn sign. Now in fairness they don’t have real estate lawn signs in Manhattan, but my point stands.
3. They are not wearing tight clothes
Boxy shirts, baggy pants, loose-fitting dresses. Even the shoes are over-sized. In LA we pretend to wear comfortable clothes by wearing large flannel shirts open over teeny tiny cropped tops and leggings. In New York people are actually comfortable.
4. They are not eating “small plates” at every single restaurant
From my limited exposure there appear to be tapas restaurants serving “small plates” aka tapas and regular restaurants serving regular plates aka dinner. That is a real contrast to Los Angeles where we now only know how to dine out “family style” aka “5-6 plates per person” for a total of way too much food and money. That said I was oddly hungry in New York.
5. They are being so rude and angry
I get it. After three days walking around in those not-short-enough heels I was snapping at everyone from the Staples check-out girl to a pigeon that wouldn’t get out of my way. And you know what, it was kind of liberating. Being happy and delighted and centered all the time has it benefits, but so does yelling at people for absolutely no reason.
6. They are constantly ripping on themselves
Here’s my favorite example from a subway car ad for Seamless web. Classic New York.
7. They are working harder than all of us
You think your life is tough? Do it in New York City for a week in 85 degree weather, 110% humidity. Manhattan is hard living. I saw a 20-something girl carrying five garment bags full of clothes down the street. I saw a 40+ guy biking 12 pizza in the center lane of 6th avenue. I saw a woman get three kids and a stroller onto a subway car before the doors event pretended to close. And I watched at least 100 people enter a subway car that didn’t have air conditioning. Three of them flinched. One was me. So, you win New York. You are still the toughest place to get by, but it’s still hard for me to argue that it isn’t worth every blister, back ache and penny.
See you next time, in flats.