What New York is like
I can’t possibly speak for ALL of new york or EVERYONE’s opinion of it. I can only talk about my own experiences. Right?
I haven’t been in NY nearly long enough to say that “I know” anything. Besides, the logic and philosophy classes I took kind of pulled me away from being able to say I really know ANYTHING anymore what will all the levels of knowledge and stuff. And it feels weird to say “I have found” because it’s not like I lost something. I’m not sure if I can say “I’ve learned” either. I mean, I don’t look at the good and bad and find the lessons and say I’m better for it and bla bla bla. So, I guess what I can say is “What I have seen.” I mean, I suppose I can trust my eyes. Shrug.
Rats. Tons of ’em live beneath the surface of the earth by the trains and stations, and above ground as well. They like “the parks.” I put that in quotes because around here a small place of grass, a tree (or two!) and a bench is considered a park. At any rate, they like parks and schools and the asphalt and the trash. But they don’t seem to like each other. I never see them together. Only once I saw a couple of them fighting over what seemed to be a candy wrapper of some kind covered in water and rust from the tracks. I haven’t seen mice since leaving Macy’s. Yes, they have mice in there. My guess is most buildings that are old, do. And this one is over 100 years old. It’s just something that exists. They smell when they’re dead. Most things do I’m sure. No rodents have been in my apartment, and I am grateful.
Street Meat. There are taco trucks, fried chicken cars, ice cream trucks, hot dog stands (“dirty water dogs), pretzel stands, breakfast carts full of danishes; bagels; coffee and more, and halal stands. There are probably more, but I haven’t seen any and/or can’t think of anymore off the top of my head. I rather enjoy Taco Truck during my excursions into West Village. It’s inexpensive, fairly good and tastes even better after a few Jamie & Gingers. I still can’t stand cilantro though, damn–I have to remember to tell them NO cilantro. Shish Kabob’s are fairly good. They just take meat and season it with sauce and stuff and cook it on their portable grill and serve it on a stick. Not bad. I don’t crave it though. Haven’t tried fried chicken from a truck yet. I have mixed feelings and the lighting is bad. Chicken looks a pale green-yellow in the window and the guy selling it doesn’t speak enough english for me to get answers that make sense out of him. I have had dirty water dogs. They taste like regular hot dogs. Ta-da. I had a croissant and a small coffee (with 3 sugars and cream that they put in for me). The croissant was hard and crunchy and the coffee was gross. Burnt, or just not good–maybe I’m a little spoiled. I don’t know, I also don’t really care. Halal trucks. Now THEY provide yummy stuff. Falafel sandos. Chicken and Rice on a plate with BBQ and “white” Sauce. I don’t know what’s in the white sauce, but it’s good. Really good. It’s filling and I can get two meals out of one dish, which is only about $5. Yes I like Gyros. (pronounced EE-ro, or Hero, not Gy-ro rhyming eith eye-ro). I have not bothered with an ice cream truck.
Stuff sold on carts. Some people have shopping carts that they carry fruit in. This fruit is “prepared” for you somehow. As in all the oranges are now peeled for your convenience. A bundle is whatever amount and there’s more where it came from. Sorbet things. I say “things” because I’m not sure what they actually are. It’s served into a what looks like a sample cup and the flavors are the likes of Pina Colada, Berry, and other fruit like flavors. They seem to be a dollar or so. Kids like them, I can’t be bothered to try them. If I want ice cream, I’ll get ice cream.
Salons…or Hair places. From the Upper West Side to the Heights, where I live, there are 2-4 salons on each block. Ninety eight percent of those “salons” (and I use quotes because the ideas of what a salon offers or what defines it are different for everyone, I think) have something every common in their salon name. It says “Unisex.” This baffled me for a while. I didn’t and still don’t know why they are all called that. I guess there is something about a barber shop or girl hair-cut place that is different, and these unisex salons offer hair-cutters for both the male and female persuasion. I say hair-cutters because I have an idea of what a “stylist” does and doesn’t do. What they do and do not look like–it’s the same category of what a salon looks like. These places are not super duper trashy, but they are not classy or tasteful either. The floors are the large tiled black and white tiles, or a terrible would be wood floor. Sometimes it’s some kind of cement, but ultimately it’s ugly. The lights above the mirrors are bright and different shapes sometimes. The walls are painted bright colors, like orange, and they swirl on the wall like the yellow brick road in munchkin land. It’s dizzying. There ARE salons with stylists, the kind that I imagine and am used to–but they cost 150$ for a cut. That’s almost what I net in one paycheck (I’m paid weekly). So, that’s not gonna happen. As a side note, men DO care what their hair looks like. They get it braided, trimmed, cropped, shaved, buzzed, colored and styled like all the women I know.
Grocery Shopping. There is not a Ralphs, or Vons, or Albertsons around here. The larger markets are called Food Emporium, Gristedes, and Whole Foods. Yah we have that here. There’s also Fairway and West Side Market. Fairway is by far the biggest grocery store I’ve seen here. They have a room dedicated to their refrigerated section. Instead of walking down an aisle and opening doors to get something cold, walk into a room and it’s cold in their. Things are on shelves, like in a frige, but there are no doors. It’s cold in there. Really. But it’s a small walk from the train, and there’s a hill I have to walk up to get home. I hate walking up that damn hill, for any reason–and I certainly don’t want to do it with bags of food. I tend to stick to C-Town, a smaller scale store offering the likes of larger grocery stores, just on a smaller level. Or the bodegas downstairs, or the carnicerias. The thing with those are what they offer is more expensive. Because of the convenience. I guess it makes sense. But for the mini grocery stores, they are likely to get my business because it’s close to home and I won’t have to carry too much the few blocks away and up the stairs to my apartment. And even if I DID buy a lot at a bigger grocery store, there isn’t alot of room in the kitchen for food. There’s five of us here, and we all buy food to eat at some point.
There’s more. I’m sure. But this is what comes to mind right now.