The other day, a Seattle friend asked me what differences I’ve noticed between Seattle and New York. I stammered. There are so many. Where to begin? “They” say New York is a city like no other. I can’t confirm that because I haven’t been to all the cities, but it is someplace unique to me.

  1. New Yorkers are in a hurry. They aren’t being rude, not intentionally anyway, they just have a subway to catch or a home to get to. They’ve seen the tall buildings and New Year’s ball before. They’re going to hurry through, but you feel free to look around and take as many pictures as you want. You aren’t bothering anyone.
  2. It’s crowded here. Like when you’re at a festival or fair or something. That kind of crowd. Only everywhere you go. Lines are long, but they go fast. The line at the West Side Trader’s Joes, for example, wraps around the entire store, but they have 40-something registers. It goes fast. There are just a lot of people buying two-buck chuck.
  3. It’s expensive. We know it is. Quit talking about it already. Unless you scored a great deal on an apartment, in which share the deets!
  4. For the most part, New Yorkers don’t care what you’re wearing. Anything goes here except backpacks in offices. Do not carry your laptop in a backpack. That is not OK (I learned this when I carried my laptop to the office in a backpack).
  5. It’s a badge of honor to be able to stand on the subway without holding onto a handrail. Beginners stand near the doors. More experienced riders stand in the middle of the car while reading a book. We all aspire to be that person. Plant your feet wide and engage your core. That’s the best advice I can offer. I still stand by the doors.
  6. Speaking of the subway, don’t talk about how gross it is. Some of us are eating here and are pretending not to notice. Respect that.
  7. Food is best consumed while walking.
  8. The coffee is terrible. Real New Yorkers don’t seem to think so, but anyone who has done time in Seattle or Boston or Italy knows better. Coffee is the one item you should avoid from sidewalk carts.
  9. The best place to buy fruit is at the sidewalk fruit stands. Or a farmers market, if you find one. Stay out of the grocery and for goodness sake, don’t buy it at Trader Joe’s.
  10. The more people you know, the more free Champagne you are offered when you go out.
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