Perhaps I was lured here on the promise of fabulousness, effortlessly exhibited by
Seabiscuit Carrie Bradshaw. Or maybe it’s because I wanted to break free of the picket fences surrounding my small-town New England home. Either way, a year ago from today I found myself carrying boxes up a 4th floor walk-up, soon realizing that I would have to fit everything in my hand into a tiny square room.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this city. Passionately, whole-heartedly, and sometimes toxically, the way the Fifty Shades of Grey protagonist loves that Christian character (at least I think she loves him—I may be in the 1% of the female population that has never read it).
I’m not going to tip you for handing me a paper towel or trying to make me smell like a child prostitute. However, there will still always be some things that I just don’t understand about NYC.
1. Railroad Apartments
When I moved in last year, I was told my apartment was "railroad style." As an ignorant small-town girl, I just nodded my head, not knowing exactly what the landlord meant. What could be so bad about a railroad apartment, I thought. Up to that point, everything associated with the word "railroad" carried a positive connotation: Reading Railroad, The Polar Express, the Underground Railroad, the list goes on.
Little did I know "railroad style" means each bedroom leads into the next without a hallway. Talk about a year of awkward hookups…. No wonder Thomas the Tank Engine looked so stoned all the time.
2. Blowout Bars
New York is so trendy, they have these electronic devices that blow out hot air! Your hair can magically go from soaking wet to dry in a matter of 20 minutes!
Seriously though, why are these so-called "blowout bars" on every corner? Anyone who doesn’t own a blow dryer or possess the hand-eye coordination to use it needs to reevaluate their life. Guess what? I blow-dry my hair every day and don’t expect to earn 50 bucks plus tip every time. And naming these salons some one-word sexual/drug innuendo like "blow" is just confusing the shit out of every Wall Street guy hoping to squeeze in a "happy hour."
3. Bathroom Attendants
This city is trying to turn us into broke lazy asses who not only can’t blow-dry our own hair, but can’t work automatic paper towel dispensers either. I understand why we need flight attendants, but the last time we needed a bathroom attendant was in pre-school. I don’t want your stale peppermint candies or you drugstore perfume. And no, I’m not going to tip you for handing me a paper towel or trying to make me smell like a child prostitute. Please go attend to the drunk girl puking in stall three, I think she needs your help more than I do.
4. Starbucks on Steroids
Picture this: It’s 8 in the morning and I drag my tired ass to one of the seven Starbucks on my street. Flustered from the list of lattes and espressos, I hear the man next to me mutter something about a "tall, hot, skinny blonde." Offended (but actually flattered), I stare at him. High from the confidence boost, I jot down my digits on an old receipt only to realize this guy ACTUALLY wanted a small, light, hot coffee. Dunkin Donuts would never pull these mind games on me.
5. Cab Timing
I’m convinced that New York City cabs are like New York City men: abundant and available only when you don’t need them. They’re never there for you when you have only 15 minutes to catch the train back to your hometown. They’re never there for you on a pouring night when you realize you left your umbrella at your friend’s apartment. They’re never there for you when your heels conveniently decide to break on the pavement.
And don’t even get me started on the black luxury cars pretending to be cabs. I’m clad entirely in Forever 21 apparel eating Dollar Menu Chicken McNuggets—does it look like I can afford to pay $30 to go two blocks?
But alas, out of desperate isolation and fear of having to spend the night huddled in the cardboard box fort with the man playing bongo drums, I give in to the Town Car.
Blocks later, I dig through my purse to find spare change and M&M’S while cursing Ben Bailey (the bald host of Cash Cab, naturally) for luring me into this beautiful, tragic, crazy city on false pretenses.