I’ll admit I’m a little burnt out on New York these days. This upcoming spring, I’ll have lived here eight years. It’s two years shy of how long I said would live in New York, but about three years longer than I thought I would make it half a decade ago.
Obviously, there are things to love about this city. But — and I’m being honest here — the longer I am here, the harder it is for me to remember those things. Or maybe even care about those things.
Do I care about the access to any kind of shopping? I buy all my clothes in thrift stores/online thrift stores or through online sales anyway. Do I care about the shows and concerts? I see something on Broadway once in a blue moon now, and I am rarely willing to battle the crowds to do anything notable going on in the city. Do I care about the restaurants? Eating out is almost as rare as the Broadway shows.
I would miss Seamless legitimately. But, honestly, that just makes me kind of sad to say out loud. I’ll miss the thing that lets me be extra lazy and spend extra money.
It’s probably not surprising, but motherhood has made me roll my eyes a little bit harder at NYC. Because it is hard to be a mom here, folks.
It’s hard to take your baby out, because you are either schlepping them on your back in a carrier (which I honestly don’t mind because at least I can navigate easily, but it is super sweaty in the summer) or trying to maneuver a stroller down busy sidewalks, through a million doorways, or up and down subway steps. It’s hard to figure out things to do with your baby because everything baby-centric is expensive and everything non-baby-centric is…not baby friendly.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am sometimes when Vivi and I finish our errands (don’t even get me started on the difficulty of doing laundry in the city with a baby…) and I can look at her and say, “And now we don’t have to go anywhere for the rest of the day!”
I mean…that is not why I moved to New York.
So, yeah, I fantasize about motherhood in the burbs. I dream of a garage and in-home laundry and a real backyard and an accessible Target.
But I’m trying to be content and appreciate the good things (like parks within walking distance and a cute coffee shop on every corner to fuel mornings-after-sleepless-nights).
Other NYC mommas out there: Do you feel me? Do you have suggestions for making life a little easier?
Remember when I used to take the Long Island Rail Road a lot? And I whined about it. A lot.
It has been almost four years since I officially bid adieu to the rails, and, I’ll admit, even I started to wonder if maybe I hadn’t been the eence bit of a drama queen.
I mean, it’s just a train through Long Island. How bad could it actually be?
And then, last week, I had to take it again after over a year of abstaining.
And, you guys? I think it actually got worse.
What I don’t expect? To find myself in a full-on frat rager before it’s even midnight.
For the entire 30-minute ride I shared with this crowd, it was non-stop screaming, seat-hopping, and literal chanting. Not like, monks-finding-inner-peace chanting. Like, THIS. IS. CHAN. TING. (*clap clap clap clap clap*) And the lyrics were, shall we say, not fit to print.
It was, in a word, unpleasant.
At one point, the conductor passed through to clip tickets and whispered to the guy across the aisle and me that “they might not notice you if you stay quiet.” It was that bad.
The good news is that they got off a few stops before me, so at least part of my ride was relatively peaceful. Even so, I think I can officially scratch “am I a drama queen?” off my list of concerns.
When you find yourself pregnant in a big city, you have a number of initial concerns:
How will I find the right doctor with so many options?
Can I fit a baby in my current apartment?
Ewww is that a condom on the ground of my neighborhood playground??
And, of course, the most popular and pressing:
Is anyone ever going to offer me a seat on public transportation?
That last one is especially curiosity-inducing because even women who aren’t pregnant usually want to know. I get asked all the time what the response has been, and I’m actually happy to report that I get offered a seat a lot more often than I thought I would.
But that does NOT mean I always get offered a seat. No, ma’am, it does not.
Because I am a woman of the people, I thought I’d put together a little list of who will (and who will not) generally offer a pregnant woman a seat on the subway (or bus or train or whatever public transport you prefer). That way, if you ever get knocked up, you’ll know who to stand next to whilst overacting back aches and overemphasizing your belly. Hypothetically.
You probably WILL get a seat from…young professional-looking women.
Gals in the 20-30 range who look like they’re commuting to or from work are usually your best bet. For one, they tend to not be as consumed in their phones as their teen counterparts, but they’re not so far off from the life stage of pregnancy themselves that they can’t sympathize. (If they’ve had a kid themselves, they can definitely feel you on your swollen feet and tired body.) The solidarity I feel with these ladies is actually a sweet moment in a city known for it’s selfishness. Props to women who support (and give seats to pregnant) women!
That being said…
You probably WON’T get a seat from…women who don’t like children and/or women over 40.
I know, I know, “women who don’t like kids” is hard group to describe and spot. But you’ll know them the second they glance at your swollen belly and then wrinkle their nose before deliberately avoiding your gaze. I mean, they didn’t get you pregnant. Why is this their problem? As for my middle-aged ladies…I can’t explain it. Maybe they also don’t like kids, maybe they’re just tired. But whatever the reason, they tend to hold their peace and their seat. Go with God. (Or something.)
You probably WILL get a seat from…old men.
And you will struggle with whether or not to take the seat. Because this is the type of person you would normally have given up a seat to. But if you’re really dead tired and a wrinkly old man struggles to his feet the second he sees your rotund-ness, you will probably take this dying breed of gentleman up on his offer (after thanking him profusely, of course).
You probably WON’T get a seat from…men over 30 in business suits (especially not if they’re over 40).
I hate to generalize on the FiDi bro crowd, but business men are notoriously too busy and important to give up their precious subway seat. The kicker is that they will stare at your belly for a few minute, then make fleeting eye contact before quickly looking away and going back to pretending to be asleep or answering emails on their smart phones. (But I know which stations have wifi, pal. You’re not fooling anyone.) You just let me know the next time your business deal results in the creation of life, pumpkin, and then we’ll compare notes as to who had a tougher day, k?
You MIGHT get a seat from…men in their 20s and early 30s who aren’t wearing suits.
This group really is a toss-up. The issue most of the time is that they rarely look up from their phones to even notice you standing there growing a human in your belly. I also like to give them the benefit of the doubt that it has been PUMMELED into their brain to never assume a lady is pregnant unless she actually tells you so, and they’re worried about possibly offending you. So, a lot of the time, they stay seated. It also has to be said that they’re much more likely to offer a seat if they’re not white. Sorry, white dudes, y’all will sit there staring at my stomach — fascinated — for the entirety of the ride without even pretending to get up. And we both know that I know that you know.
You definitely WON’T get a seat from…teenagers.
Chivalry actually is dead amongst the sub-twenties set. You could literally go into labor in front of them, and they’d probably just pull out their phone to capture the moment on SnapChat while shouting, “OMG GROSSSSSS.” Teenagers. Ugh.
Now, obviously this is based entirely on anecdotal experience. So tell me: If you’ve been pregnant, who did you find was more or less likely to give you a seat? I’d actually love to hear stories of subway heroes who broke the stereotype!
You guys. Today is my last day of taking the LIRR to work.
My friend James told me recently that the railroad must be mad at me because of how many issues there have been this month. Raised fees, derailed and delayed trains, equipment trouble and overcrowding — we’ve seen a little bit of everything in the last few weeks.
Well, good riddance, amiright?
We’ll start moving in today, but I actually have a few pictures to share that Joey took when he stopped in yesterday. Fair warning, I’m a little disappointed that they managed to make a completely gutted and renovated apartment look exactly like it would look if it had been set up over a decade ago. (Ugh…the bathroom tile. The cabinet finishes.) But I know I’m jut being a whiner. It’s all shiny and new and whatever. Here ya go:
So there you have it. I’ll, of course, post more pictures once we get it more set up. (And after I’ve hidden that dang pink tile I can’t seem to escape behind a shower curtain.)
Assuming I survive the moving process, see ya Monday!
It has been a pretty busy 2013 so far.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been to California, Utah, Massachusetts, and Nevada. My body has no idea what time it is.
I haven’t been getting nearly as much sleep as I need and like to get, but it has been pretty fun. I mean, I got to spend time with some of my favorite people on the planet.
So I might be exhausted, but I have some pretty great memories now. Sounds like a pretty solid win-some-lose-some situation to me.
Anyway, I have to admit I’m glad I’ll be staying put for a while now. With our (rapidly) approaching move, I have a lot to do before March.
And because we all know nothing keeps my brain more organized than making a comprehensive list, here’s everything Joey and I need to get accomplished before mid-March:
1. Sell the china cabinet.
You know. The one I never actually got around to painting. Though it’s a solid piece of furniture and has provided us with tons of storage space, this mammoth piece of furniture will not be joining us in Brooklyn. Honestly, I doubt we could even get it into an apartment that wasn’t on ground level. It’s really heavy. Plus, we most likely won’t have a spacious dining area like we have now to fit it in.
So if you live in Long Island and want it, let me know and we’ll work something out.
2. File our taxes.
That’s a sneak peek of a future post tentatively titled “how I organized and labeled everything paper-related in my life.”
But seriously. I want to get this taken care of this month. I went through all our files a couple of weeks ago and organized everything into labeled binders, all of our W-2s have arrived, as the sooner we get it taken care of the sooner we can (hopefully) get our refund. Which would be helpful in the whole paying-our-next-apartment’s-security-deposit thing.
Plus it’s just a good feeling when you finally take care of your taxes an don’t have it hanging over your head anymore.
3. Goodwill trip.
I still have those giant bags of clothes to drop off, and I also want to go through our kitchen supplies and see if there’s anything we really don’t use. (Remember that corner cabinet
of doom of stuff I mentioned? Yeah, that has yet to be dealt with.)
4. Pack everything.
This requires procuring boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and at least a couple weekends of effort. Though, to be totally honest, the packing-up part doesn’t stress me out nearly much as the moving-stuff part. Anyone who wants to help with that I will gladly reward with food and booze. Just sayin’.
5-10. Quit our current gym, get our mail forwarded, update our Internet and cable, update our address on file at work and anywhere else it exists.
All that clerical stuff. Party.
11. Oh yeah, and, you know, actually find our next apartment.
Thinking about this stresses me out too. I mean, I’ve been looking online for a while, so in general I feel like I have a good grasp on what we’re looking for. But there is a bit of stress in the hunt for a New York apartment. The good ones go fast. But millions of people have done it, right? We’ll figure it out.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a million other details, but those are the big ones so far. It makes me feel better to know I’ve moved quite a bit in the last five years, so I’m pretty good at this, but the experience also comes with the knowledge of what a hassle it is.
Oh well. I’m excited for the fun parts (living in Brooklyn, having a new apartment to set up, no more LIRR), so I’m trying to keep those things in the forefront of my mind.
Anyway. For today, I’m just focusing on keeping awake.
I was almost hit by a car this morning.
I don’t want to over-dramatize this. I’m totally fine. For the most part, I was not actually struck by the car. And it was entirely not my fault. (Mom.)
Here’s what went down.
I was walking to my office from Penn Station, like I do virtually every single day. I have to cross a series of streets and avenues to do so. In the name of total disclosure, I’m admitting right here and now that I do not always wait for the walk signal. If no cars are coming, I cross the street.
This is not just a me thing. This is an everyone-in-New-York-who-doesn’t-have-time-to-wait-to-cross-an-empty-street. (Insert: “New Yorkers are so impatient” joke here.)
Despite my penchant for (not actually illegal)(I don’t think?) jaywalking, I’d like to point out that in this case, I was crossing 9th Avenue because the crosswalk sign was telling me it was my turn to walk. The little white man was fully lit. It wasn’t even a blinking red warning hand.
So I crossed.
I was aware of a black sedan that wanted to turn left onto 9th Ave. He was slowly inching out, and I figured he was just waiting for the person crossing in front of me and me to get to the sidewalk. Then he would turn because his light was green.
Just because I know my mom is going to read this and think something to the effect of “If I had only just never let her leave my womb, this would never have happened!!!!”, I feel the need to point out that there was no way I could have seen this coming or prevented it. Short of just never crossing the street ever. I did what any normal person would have done. I crossed when the crosswalk told me I should cross.
Anyway. I was about two steps from clearing the front of his hood when I realized he had no intention of stopping and was in fact speeding up to turn.
I’d love to tell you that in that moment, time slowed down. Or that everything crystallized and became very clear for me.
In reality, it all happened super fast. But in a fit of The Next Karate Kid-edness, I slammed my left hand down onto the hood of his car and vaulted the rest of my body clear of the car.
The moment my feet hit the ground (and the driver apparently registered that the loud thunk he had heard was his car making contact with a human being), he and eye made equally wide-eyed eye contact. Both our mouths hung open for a second in total shock. (Well, his mouth was suspicious shaped into words something like “oh ship”, but I’ll leave the speculation to you.)
It was at that moment that I had no idea what to do next. Technically, nothing had happened. He had done something stupid (not watching where he was turning…I have no idea what he was looking at) and kind of illegal (turning into a crosswalk where pedestrians were walking), but technically nothing bad had come of it. I was so shocked and flustered, I honestly just kept walking while making furtive glances over my shoulder to see if anyone had noticed. (I honestly think no one did. Or they just didn’t say anything.)
To the driver’s credit, though he had started to just drive away, I watched him pause for a few seconds, obviously wondering if he should get out and do something. I guess he took the fact that I was not hanging around as his cue to vacate the scene. I don’t know what else I would expect him to do. (“Hey! Hey, you! Buy me a coffee for almost crippling me!”)
The point is, I’m totally fine, if not slightly rattled. But honestly, I have to chuckle at the fact that I’m pretty sure if any of us are going to walk away with a phobia about this, it’s the driver. He’ll become one of those guys who always thinks he’s hit someone because he almost did!
The kind of ironic thing is that just this morning, I was having trouble coming up with a blog topic and was thinking, “Man, it has been a really long time since I had a classic New York moment!” I should have just given it 45 minutes.
So anyway. That’s the story of how I almost-and-sort-of-did get hit by a car.