Things I've Learnt in New York... Part 1

On the 1st it'll be 4 months since we moved to New York so I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've learnt so far. It's only part 1 because I'm 100% certain there will be at least one more of these lists in the future!

1. Always, always, avoid the empty subway car.
I'd heard this said before - I think it comes under the basic survival tips for NYC - but I really can't stress this advice enough! I had a very close shave in my second month here, when I stepped in to what looked to be an empty subway car and was met with the strong smell of poo. Yes, poo. And a butt-naked man asleep on a bench. Luckily I had just enough time to quickly get off & jump in the next car!

2. A waffle iron is an essential kitchen item.
Because waffles are one of the greatest creations in the world.

3. Grocery shopping is quite a painful experience.
(Which is probably why all real New Yorkers get take-out)
In the UK we lived close to 4 different well-known supermarkets that sold almost anything. Here we live near 1...that doesn't sell almost everything. There are a wealth of delis/bodegas but sadly the food there is reeeeally expensive! Trying to buy good produce is also a mean feat!

4. Brunch is the most important meal of any good day.
I love brunch. I really love brunch. I think it would be fair to say that brunch is one of my favourite pastimes. There are just so many great brunch foods - waffles, pancakes, bacon, waffles...

5. Trader Joe's Frosted Toaster Pastries are better than Pop Tarts.
Also, their Golden Round Crackers are better than Ritz Crackers.

6. You'll never know when the next subway train is coming.
Only a handful of stations in NYC have a countdown display so you just have to hope for the best; you could be standing on the platform forever or a train may come along in a minute - one Sunday we waited 45mins for one! It really makes you appreciate how good the London Underground actually is...

7. Sirens sound strange here.
There's lot of whoop-whooping and honk-honking.

8. You will quickly get used to the sounds of New York.
That is, the sirens & horns & car radios. However you will probably never get used to the sound of your upstairs neighbour pacing around or your next door neighbour's kids running around & shouting before 8am. And you will definitely never get used to the sound of them practising their piano early in the morning! Damn you paper thin walls & cheapskate contractors!

9. Nobody actually yells "Hey! I'm walkin' here!" at the traffic.
Just another way that Hollywood has deceived us.

10. A down jacket will be your best friend from November through to March.
New York winters are cold & there is a very good reason why everyone is wearing a duvet-esque coat! Also - snow boots (Sorels are my favourite).

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