A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

A Year In New York header image 1

Day 365: 11 Things New York Taught Me

June 30th · 9 Comments

img_68521Today I’ve been running last-minute errands and pondering what it all means, spending a year in New York City. I’ve worn through a lot of shoe leather in this crazy town and learned some hard lessons,  and now it’s time for me to pass those lessons on to you.

Here goes:

1. The World Won’t End If I’m a Jerk
. I am afflicted with the niceness that is so common among people from San Francisco. I used to treat everyone, even telemarketers, with kindness because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Then I got pissed off at Rebecca the Mattress Saleswoman and learned that in New York brutal honesty is nothing short of essential; if you don’t raise your voice no one notices you’re there. A few days ago, the moving company tried to screw me, and I chewed them out before firing them. Felt like I’d gained a superpower.

img_032912. Manhattan Is a Childishly Easy Place to Live. Those who say life in New York is hard are only half right. Fighting through the crowds every day is hard, and if you want the corner office you have to work like Sisyphus. But those plotlines ignore what a Disneyland Manhattan is for those who can afford the ticket. Taxi? Right here, sir. Tired of the Broadway shows? Try off-Broadway or off-off-Broadway. Fresh cherries on the street at 3 a.m.? Wine at your door in ten minutes flat? Check and check. An entire life is delivered spoon-to-mouth, and this makes Manhattanites the most spoiled infants I’ve ever met. They make a Costco run look like a towering act of adult sacrifice.

3. The City Is Expensive but the Fun is Free. Often in this blog I expressed my indignation at $7 toothbrushes, $55 lampshades and $7.49 toilet paper. Looking back, these expensive staples were the price of admission to amazing moments that cost nothing at all: listening to the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, playing word games with writers, taking the ferry to Staten Island, attending a taping of the Today Show or puckering up at International Pickle Day.

img_021014. To Live In New York Is To Brave the Elements. I thought that highrise living and easy public transit would protect me from the weather. Not so. Every workday I spent at least half an hour on the street, pelted by rain, jumping over slush, and baking in the heat. Wind barrels down the avenues and the taxis disappear when it rains. I’ve spent much more time outside in New York than I did in sunny California, simply because I didn’t own a car. Which explains why…

5. I Have a New Respect for Overcoats and Scarves. As an outdoor athlete, I scoffed at the formal dress codes of the East Coast; no way would Burberry keep me warmer than the Gore-Tex, fleece and polypropylene I brought from California. Then I got my own overcoat and scarf and discovered that those suckas are warm. And I looked…quite dashing.

6. New York Humbles Your Greatest Successes. This year I wrote a long, in-depth story for Sierra magazine that would have earned me applause…if I still lived in San Francisco (see Niceness, #1). No one in New York could care less. What, the story wasn’t published in a New York magazine? And you haven’t authored a book? And it hasn’t been on top of the Amazon bestseller list? Not even for a minute? Then who the hell are you?

img_52507. Manhattan is My Top Adventure Cycling Destination. When I bought the Superstar and began cycling New York, I imagined myself a kitten being fed to pit bulls. Over time, though, I learned to run red lights with impunity, read the acceleration habits of transit buses and UPS deliverymen, and measure exactly how much handlebar can fit between two vehicles’ side mirrors. I never felt more a part of the city than when I pedaled through it, drifting alongside taxis and squiggling past pedestrians, swimming deep in the urban canyons.

8. Cell Phones Blunt the New York Experience, and Sharpen It. I can’t tell you how many times I missed out on a conversation with a taxi driver because he was already talking to somebody on his Bluetooth. I hate what mobile technology has done to New York. People hunch over their screens like gnomes instead of noticing the pageant of life around them. But they do offer the voyeur one spectacle: The Argument. Every day I saw at least one person mashing a phone to his ear and engaged in a shouting match with a girlfriend, spouse, business partner or landlord. Thank you, o clueless ones, for serving your private dramas for all to see.

img_646019. I Can Carry Almost Anything on Public Transit. Like a hundred pounds of groceries home from Trader Joe’s, or a red lounger all the way from Harlem.

10. A Vertical City Breeds Unhappiness. I’ve never seen more stressed and unhappy people than I have on the streets of New York. Why? An answer occurred to me every time I entered Central Park. The transition was dramatic. One moment my yardstick was people: hurried expressions, angry horns, towers occupied by people richer and more successful than I. The next moment, my yardstick was trees: leaves nodding in the breeze and shade beckoning me to relax on the grass.

11. The New York I’d Imagined Was A Fantasy That, Just Once In A While, Came True. In the depths of February, I concluded that the visions I’d had of Big Apple life were a bunch of stinking compost. With every passing day my desire grew stronger to leave this anthill. img_53141Then, without warning, the city would sweep me up in one of its singular moments: a poet’s unexpected ode to March, the eco-party where Selso turned from a woman into a man, the glint of sunrise on the Queensboro Bridge, weekend getaways to the Hamptons or the Poconos, the earnest chewiness of an H & H bagel.

My yearlong affair with New York is over. But she is a mistress I have every intention of visiting again.

(P.S.: Now that I’ve polished off New York City, I’m on to Washington D.C. Check out my latest stories at The Ferris Files.)

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 9 CommentsTags: Deep Thoughts · East Coast v. West Coast · Encounters with Nature · Getaways · Sights & Scenes · The Rat Race · Urban Survival · Why I Hate This Town · Why I Love This Town

Day 364: A Dash to the Other Side

June 29th · 1 Comment

img_0394_2At 6:30 this morning, a small family of raccoons crawled from the shrubs in Central Park. Mom flattened herself under a green wire fence while two little ones scrambled over. They had just collected themselves for the journey across East Drive when they looked up to see a giant! Their mouths almost formed into little cartoon gasps. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 1 CommentTags: Deep Thoughts · East Coast v. West Coast · Encounters with Nature · Sights & Scenes · The Rat Race · Urban Survival · Why I Hate This Town

Day 363: How a Hawk Sees Midtown

June 28th · 1 Comment

img_7947Last week I paid a visit to a friend from high school, the actress Tina Stafford, who lives on the 40th floor of an apartment building on Tenth Avenue. The apartment has a porch, a roomy one, with a sweeping view of Hell’s Kitchen, the Hudson and the northern half of Midtown. Tina spends a lot of her free time on that porch, as would I, watching New York go about its business. She’s noticed some surprising things.

[Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 1 CommentTags: Deep Thoughts · Encounters with Nature · Sights & Scenes · Urban Survival

Day 362: After the Taking of Pelham 123

June 27th · No Comments

imagesMy colleague Rebecca and I stepped onto the Pelham-bound train with our eyes darting suspiciously this way and that. Just moments before we had left our seats at the Union Square movie theater, where we saw “The Taking of Pelham 123.” Taking the subway after seeing that movie is akin to watching “Deliverance” deliverance-741464right before paddling off through the Georgia backcountry. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ No CommentsTags: Entertainment · Sights & Scenes · Urban Survival · Why I Love This Town

Day 361: What New York Throws Away

June 26th · No Comments

img_7971_2img_7980_2I live across the street from one of the neighborhood’s grocery stores, a Food Emporium. Every midnight after the place closes, a pile of retired produce and collapsed cardboard boxes four feet tall is left at the curb. Garbage trucks come and take it away, and in the morning delivery trucks arrive with new produce and new boxes.

New York is just too crowded for trash to be hidden the way it is in other American cities. In the suburbs, the rejecta leaves the house in bins once a week; in less dense cities it might end up in a Dumpster; in New York the black Hefty bags wind up on the curb, three days each week and more often at grocery stores. There’s nowhere else to put it. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ No CommentsTags: Deep Thoughts · East Coast v. West Coast · Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town

Day 360: Top 6 Music Moments of AYINY

June 25th · 1 Comment

New York has so much music that it regularly bursts out of the auditorium and into the streets. For your enjoyment, here’s a sampler of some of the best found performances I saw this year. Which is your favorite?

[Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 1 CommentTags: Entertainment · Sights & Scenes · Why I Love This Town

Day 359: Confessions with a Concierge

June 24th · 1 Comment

uppereastI have a story to tell you, but in order to do so I have to make two confessions. The first is that I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The second is that, as of July, Joo and I are leaving New York and moving to Washington D.C.

I haven’t owned up to where I live because Joo and I feel like impostors, living far above our pay grade in the city’s ritziest neighborhood. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 1 CommentTags: Deep Thoughts · Personalities · Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town · Why I Love This Town

Day 358: Obama in a New Light

June 23rd · No Comments

img_7828Recently I headed to Williamsburg in Brooklyn to see an exhibit by Joe Mangrum, an artist friend who creates fantastic visions from everyday things. He and I moved from San Francisco about the same time.

Joe unlocked the door of Chi Contemporary Fine Art and showed me around just after the place closed for the night. I felt the thrill of a break-in. As someone with no inroads into New York’s art scene, I am accustomed to viewing my art at the Guggenheim or the Met, places with hefty entrance fees and guards. How refreshing, then, to have a tour by the artist, and to hear him explain that that golden sun on the wall is in fact a giant wok he acquired 14 years ago from an abandoned Chinese restaurant. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ No CommentsTags: East Coast v. West Coast · Museums & Art · Personalities · Sights & Scenes · Why I Love This Town

Day 357: Why I’ll Miss My Trash Chute

June 22nd · No Comments

img_7880The chore I most enjoy in my New York apartment is carrying the trash across the hallway to the refuse room. I drop the bag down the trash chute, and instead of walking away, I hold the door open and listen.

The bag bangs and rattles down the chute in a loud and satisfying way. It is a journey of only five floors but seems to take forever, long enough for me to reflect what makes this chute so much better than the trash cans I have known. [Read more →]

Email This Post Email This Post

→ No CommentsTags: Deep Thoughts · Why I Love This Town

Day 356: A Stone Oasis in the City

June 21st · 2 Comments

img_7912Today Joo and I visited the Cloisters, a few acres of European monastery grafted onto the northern cliffs of Manhattan.

A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters bills itself as a museum of medieval history, but it looks and feels like a place for prayer. It sits in Fort Tyron, which was rescued from development in the early 20th Century when John D. Rockefeller bequeathed it to the city. The Cloisters came about at roughly the same time when a collector, George Grey Barnard, purchased parts of five different French monasteries and shipped them to New York to be reassembled, stone by stone.

The effect is one of overwhelming peace and silence, especially after emerging from the A train at 190th Street. Even the most obnoxiously dressed tourists moved at a hush among the 14th-century stained glass windows and the tapestries that lay against the cool stone walls.

img_7901I sat for a long spell at the edge of the largest courtyard, or cloister. As a recording of Gregorian chants played in the background, the sky erupted in a cloudburst. I watched tendrils of lavender sway in the breeze and noticed the way a leaf twitches when pelted by a raindrop.

June has been a wet month, and everywhere I walk raindrops have been crash-landing on leaves. But I never had the bandwidth to notice. This was the best part of the Cloisters, having time to notice without worrying about panhandlers or the bleat of ambulances.

Email This Post Email This Post

→ 2 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

  • htc thunderbolt download pictures
  • download aggiornamento battlefield 3 ps3
  • augustana hey now download mp3
  • download missing you diana ross mp3
  • d link dwl g122 sterowniki download
  • download indesign cs5 serial number mac
  • download hulk movie 2003
  • oracle download for mac os
  • hotline miami game download
  • download film phu quy mon
  • download flash player offline installer
  • starcraft 2 problem authenticating download mac
  • download dvd to usb
  • download graphic driver intel 82845g
  • download ff8 traduzido ps1
  • dylan deluxe edition download
  • download tu ai pe cineva skizzo
  • download kadhal 2 kalyanam songs
  • alex velea whisper download remix
  • t max stop acting up mp3 download
  • download bonnie and clyde beyonce
  • download soundcheck suie paparude
  • half life1 5 download
  • download cd zeca pagodinho 1987
  • download enter sandman metallica
  • chit chat download windows
  • download hp psc 1110 all in one printer driver
  • 4 pory roku vivaldiego download
  • pukar songs download pk
  • jota lennon download cd
  • download brutus hacking tool
  • avenged sevenfold download live in lbc
  • free mp3 download unpretty glee cast
  • jay ramdev pir songs download
  • psp download umd dumper
  • download toda sua de sylvia day
  • asus a7n8x x lan treiber download
  • dead prez documentary download
  • lora sad eyes download girlshare
  • free download ayah rinto harahap mp3
  • download avril lavigne knocking on heavens door
  • download babado novo a essencial 2010
  • download tweak ie 9
  • download curso de pabx
  • download newsid for windows xp
  • adrian minune plecat departe download
  • download subhomita bengali songs
  • download h.264 codec pack
  • download greek 4 temporada rmvb
  • nokia x3 02 folder lock download
  • social game club download
  • seam in action download
  • download kl in the house
  • promob download gratis 4i
  • download sample iphone 4 video
  • download rame rame glenn fredly
  • my generation patti smith download
  • download cs 1.6 now era
  • download keil c51 c compiler
  • valkyrie profile 2 download undub
  • download underneath your beautiful mp3
  • facebook likes hacken download
  • chomikuj sims 3 download
  • download livro aprendendo a pensar com a sociologia
  • never shout never what is love download zip
  • softpedia directx 11 download
  • outlandish calling you ringtone download
  • mahou shoujo madoka magika download ita
  • rosie thomas wedding day download
  • download battleship batalha dos mares dvdrip
  • download samsung vibrant 2.2 rom
  • download pro export fcp 4.0
  • download tapi bagaimana mp3
  • download medalha de honra frontline
  • download runtime environment 6.0
  • download hp 3310 software
  • fl studio 8 free download
  • download scph1001.bin bios psx
  • rizzoli & isles download 3 temporada
  • download lane moje mp3
  • gulden karabocek yagmur agliyor download
  • texture pack minecraft download ita
  • java standard edition 6 download
  • download lagu akb48 yasai sister
  • download lanAamentos sertanejos 2012
  • download cbse syllabus for lkg
  • download congorock babylon steve angello
  • download ncis los angeles 1 temporada
  • cypress hill psycho download
  • download dual boot ubuntu
  • download split personality by pink
  • download kamen rider den o full episode
  • oracle 11g download 64
  • download sadi gali rdb mp3 free
  • download sony ericsson satio themes
  • download oovoo gratis ita
  • download snsd into the new world remix
  • buena vista social club download rapid
  • download ninja saga hack v.4.2 free
  • darren criss sophomore download
  • download metal solid gear pc
  • garena client download 2012
  • the leaving song download
  • download of mission impossible 4
  • salaam e ishq download songs.pk
  • jogo entre ladrAes download gratis
  • download invincible tinie tempah mp3
  • download primotamadun old version
  • download hp omnibook xe3 drivers
  • download gavin degraw free album
  • download jennifer rush mp3
  • cardcaptor sakura download english
  • m indicator 2012 free download for samsung mobile
  • amanha eu vou parar download
  • download lee seung gi wallpaper
  • download cheryl cole just live
  • guia senior 2011 download
  • free download armin only mirage
  • download lagu ebiet ayah
  • free download samsung ml 1210
  • gta sa download v1
  • samsung galaxy s2 download live wallpaper
  • jocuri cu impuscaturi 3d download free
  • download veronica mars 3 ita
  • download versione 4.1 iphone
  • noisecontrollers a different story download
  • gunz hack download link
  • oracle xml publisher 5.6.3 download
  • download nomao x ray
  • maschine full installer download
  • download driver axioo pico xp
  • download rattle for data mining
  • panasonic dvc software download
  • download reason 4 mac
  • download taomee browser setup
  • download college entrance exam reviewer
  • free download of esic forms
  • gameboy emulator windows xp download
  • orbit download manager chrome
  • motoqueiro fantasma download em portugues
  • download gmail recovery software
  • download maaf dari hati
  • ged study program download
  • download cubo zero avi
  • download park jung min bad person mp3
  • download for check register
  • isubs download and streaming
  • download smartboard for mac
  • download arctic monkeys new album 2011
  • download office 2010 pro plus
  • quickbooks 2002 download software
  • my dear video download
  • download xv be there be square
  • download addon wow 3.3 5
  • download filme rastro de sangue
  • download nyan cat animated gif
  • apple iphone 4 4.2 firmware download
  • download phim vua kung fu
  • download o re piya song
  • download paint sai free full
  • download 9 sinfonia de beethoven completa
  • download lupin the 3rd vs detective conan
  • download receitanet windows 2008
  • download dance dance revolution para wii
  • tamil insult dialogues download
  • download frontech e cam jil 2225
  • free download cuppy cake song mp3
  • tactics download fm 2010
  • jogo do pato donald download
  • free download of impact font
  • download holi festival songs
  • chalao na naino se download mp3 skull
  • analog color download for windows
  • pamba nadhi song download
  • dj lemon remixes download
  • escola de idiotas dublado download
  • download dondria i love you
  • download a?a?za??a? for ipad
  • download film share3 el haram dvd
  • ama guides 5th edition download
  • download denisa nek traiesc o poveste
  • download wifi router for htc hd2
  • download di ice xp v5 supreme
  • tipler physics download wilbraham
  • download exchange 2010 trial
  • download dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3
  • calvin harris flashback 320 kbps download
  • download bhajans of art of living
  • como faz download video do youtube
  • cookies and apple juice download rich hil
  • download one piece subbed free
  • alternatif download video youtube
  • download armada band dimabuk cinta
  • tede radio varsavia download
  • download driver acer 4752g for xp
  • download the loved ones movie
  • download ultima versione windows installer
  • saigo no yakusoku download
  • download sn0wbreeze iphone 3g
  • download patch 1.1 18 across america
  • download kimi to boku season 1
  • download how we roll don omar
  • bA?lent ersoy aAYktan sabAkalA download boxca
  • afton ke parindey free download
  • download tema netbook acer
  • download kea coloring book
  • nokia 6234 download games
  • songbook the wall download
  • arma 2 operation arrowhead download crack
  • ubuntu download cd iso
  • msn download for windows xp
  • making the grade 1984 download
  • download songs of ithu nammude katha
  • cd instalaAA?o v3 download
  • download jboss 6.0 0 final
  • xcode 4 download for free
  • fishdom 2 deluxe kostenlos download
  • puffin browser download for windows
  • canon handycam driver download
  • ufc psp eboot download
  • download on ipod free music
  • the hour 6 download
  • free download surya jyothika marriage videos
  • download qc com diag window
  • download shaam hai dhuan dhuan
  • eu quero apenas carinho download
  • download igo for android free
  • haifa wehbe wawa video download
  • download reckless with your love azari
  • microsoft vb5 runtime download
  • download tdw secret to be rich
  • htc sense version download
  • stone sans itc download
  • download coletA?nea anos 70
  • download inuyasha episode 5
  • windows 8 rtm 8518 download
  • creepers and weirdos mod download
  • free dot net ebooks download sites
  • download j2ee design patterns book
  • zadie smith ebook free download
  • download c3 tech driver web cam
  • download driver wacom ptk 640
  • whatever you eat download
  • free download arashi one love
  • three rivers download season 1
  • download mp navigator ex
  • awesome file manager 0.06 download
  • download income tax act 58 of 1962
  • download half life weapons edition
  • young homie mp3 download 2012
  • download rune factory 3 ds usa
  • last moment game download
  • download vettai 2.0 kettapillai song
  • download el james 50 shades of grey
  • download java se runtime environment 6 update 27
  • download bf2 linux server
  • h.a.m jay z download
  • download free clapping sound effect
  • vaana songs free download in ziddu
  • download mehndi lagaongi main song
  • agneepath songs download free mp3
  • download blackberry desktop manager 7.0.0.32
  • smc fan control download lion
  • stronghold twierdza download pl
  • naruto sakura theme download
  • do pal ruka download mp3
  • download mozart untuk bayi dalam kandungan
  • american streamline book download
  • fearless falling up download
  • robert kiyosaki download ahrens
  • download sopcast italiano gratis
  • download idol tao quan 2011
  • ms rdp client download
  • download trinh duyet nokia moi nhat
  • download the geography of bliss
  • seema misra song download
  • minecraft 1.25 download cracked
  • hot fuzz download rmvb legendado
  • download eternal spu plugin 1.41
  • lil wayne heroes download
  • jj lin down download
  • download cd odair josA praAa tiradentes
  • download greenpois0n mac rc6
  • avira fusebundle update download
  • canon pixma 870 software download
  • zi de zi download
  • livid download manager key
  • struts download file ie
  • wlan 802.11 b g download
  • download cross stitch designs
  • totally captivated volume 1 download
  • download nook to kindle
  • download album unforgettable andy lau
  • aashiqui songs download 123musiq
  • amjad ali khan albums download
  • clinical examination books download
  • casting crowns holy one download
  • how to download minecolony mod
  • neverland u kiss mv hd download
  • download sudden attack map skin
  • crvena jabuka bozic bijeli download
  • download grupo bom gosto 2012
  • 4.0 download for ipod
  • download edison chen scandal photos full
  • up in flames labyrinth download
  • download relber e allan ao vivo
  • download cisco ccna 1
  • download itunes setup latest version
  • download windows xp dezembro 2010
  • download player for dav
  • download uc cloud version
  • vivid 1200e driver download xp
  • download kerispatih album kejujuran hati
  • ajab gajab songs to download
  • multiplay uno 93.1 download kostenlos
  • pinnacle pctv download for windows 7
  • download ragnarok online patch
  • download jocuri pentru lg kp501
  • download voy a conquistarte diego verdaguer
  • download firefox all versions
  • download epson stylus sx215 printer
  • download tyler ward on my mind
  • how do you download a track from soundcloud
  • download goo goo dolls name
  • download tv alb app
  • download numbers season 6
  • download goal.com app for nokia
  • download uzzi in lipsa mea
  • download vedi movie for free
  • mastimag songs mp3 download
  • download android application development o'reilly aquastat
  • pc suite iphone windows 7 download
  • gummy bear download para celular
  • free download jetpack joyride for android
  • download song of 47 weight kudi da
  • download o aprendiz de feiticeiro bluray
  • zoombrowser ex download update
  • download evolver john legend rar
  • qnap download station will not start
  • download jus jack that sound
  • download hp 1505n printer driver
  • emulador atari download windows
  • download kindle books via usb
  • download banda maquina do tempo
  • plague inc download for android
  • download free java amplified bible
  • download spm in my hood
  • how to download elgato software
  • m g r hits download
  • download software for hd7
  • xmind free download mac os x
  • download sting every breath you take
  • windows installer 4.5 download 32 bit
  • download vk videos chrome
  • download the funeral mp3
  • download ubersocial for nokia x2
  • download jre 32 bit for linux
  • ding dong song download
  • download snsd oh music video
  • download muziek voor ds
  • the black chord astra download
  • s2 download mode not working
  • rains down in africa download free
  • download disk defragmenter for xp
  • download show from netflix
  • download nzb tv shows
  • game maker keygen download
  • miguel sure thing download usershare
  • download hum aik hain
  • download driver mainboard asrock h55m le
  • myphp guestbook 2.0 5 download
  • download urban terror mac
  • download samsung omnia 2 driver
  • hustle hard remix download jeezy
  • gry na nokie download free
  • download winks windows live messenger 2011
  • best value download music
  • ringtone in pui mei download
  • download seriados gossip girl
  • dansa kuduro download music
  • openssh server deb download ubuntu
  • download windows vista sticky notes gadget
  • download rip just killed the club
  • descargar actualizacion ea download manager
  • luan santana download promete
  • download samsung galaxy mini gt s5570
  • download mp3 true worshippers salibmu
  • slipknot psychosocial download 320 kbps
  • selvagem download dublado avi
  • dungeon keeper deeper dungeons download
  • download mobil java games
  • download local hero dire straits
  • the distance download evan and jaron
  • download wali jatuh cinta
  • download interview with a vampire cazenovia
  • download antivirus windows 7
  • download game xe tA?ng battle city
  • download live cd android x86
  • akulah yang tersakiti mp3 download
  • adobe reader tA?rkAe 8.0 download