April 17

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NYC Culture Shock

Now that I’ve spent a month in New York City, specifically Brooklyn, I’ve adjusted enough to process the biggest mundane shocks for me.

Everyone jaywalks. In Seattle, I’ve seen multiple people being stopped by bicycle cops and given tickets for jaywalking where there are absolutely no cars around. Here in NYC, if you’re able to cross the street and not be full on hit by a car, you’re crossing the street, even in front of cops.

Groceries are different. I know this has a lot to do with many NYC apartments not really having great kitchens (thankfully the place I live now has a nice one), but it’s still weird. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things, but all of my local stores are disappointing because of the limited size and selection (let’s not even talk about the cost). The biggest thing I miss from Seattle that isn’t a person? The nice Fred Meyers on 85th. If there’s any small thing that will break me on this journey, it might be the inability to get the food I want. Also very few people bring reusable bags and that’s so weird to me. 

There are four seasons here. Spring? Never heard of it in Seattle; it’s just an extension of very rainy winter. The times I’ve visited NYC before was during January (there was a blizzard the weekend I was there) and August (hello melting). Right now it’s definitely trying to be spring, but the April 2nd seven inches of snow made a good effort to keep it away.

IT’S FLAT. From my apartment, I can walking two miles in any direction without noticing any inclines. Good luck walking half a mile anywhere in the greater Seattle area without having to hike up a hill. My friend (also from Seattle) took me to a cafe in which we had to walk up the biggest hill she’s seen in New York. It was a hill, but it was still laughable in comparison to what we’re used to. It’s probably my favorite thing about the city because I like walking places and flat lands make it so much easier.

Diversity is real here. It’s the best. I see people who look like me, and people who look different from me in every other way. I actually feel comfortable standing around or sitting in a train. I’m not the odd person out anymore like I was in Seattle.

I’m still new here. I’m sure there will be many more surprises and adjustments heading my way. The move has been a struggle in many ways, but hopefully I’ll get used to the ones I shared sooner rather than later!

Seriously though, please let me find a decent grocery store close by.

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