The other day, I started writing about the main differences between Seattle and New York City. My posting veered off and I started writing a New York etiquette posting. So, today I’ll try again with the how things differ post.
I spent this weekend catching up with friends. The big difference in my life is that my decades-long through & through friendships aren’t where I live. I have a couple friends in New York, like my New York sister, Quyn. But I don’t have my carefully cultivated group, you know, the ones who insist on picking me up at the airport and I that stay at their house. Or I come over for breakfast. Or I come over not when the party starts, but when is good for me. They’re the ones who share their HBOGo account and clear their Saturdays just because I’m in town. They’re the ones who tell me that if my life goes to hell, they’ll be my safety net. “When you think of hell, think of [us],” one likes to say. They stop mid-step to give me a hug and say, “I’m glad you’re here.” They need to see for themselves that I’m OK and even celebrate my success. They’re also the ones who ask when I’m coming back. They know my beer of choice and hand me a bottle when I walk in.
But sometimes those friendships are first made when someone says, “I hope you have a horrible time, so you have to come back.”
Some other observations after my first visit back:
1. Seattle is so clean! It’s green and lush. I see recycling receptacles on every street corner, not pieces of trash blowing in the wind.
2. It’s quiet. I sat at the lake and could hear myself think. It was so airy and peaceful.
3. Seattleites sure waste a lot of time waiting to cross the street. I like to look toward oncoming traffic. If I think I can make it, I go for it.
4. Things are cheap. I bought lunch the days I worked for less than $5. I needed to pick up tampons. The small box was $4.99. The big box was $8. I pay $8 for the little box in New York. Obviously I grabbed the big box. And apartments are huge! My friends have room for guests. Amazing. (Full disclosure: My Midtown apartment has no room for guests, unless we’re close enough to share a bed, which would make you my sister or BFF.)
5. You have to drive in Seattle, a lot. The trains to the suburbs are a huge inconvenience. There is no train within the city. But driving is kinda fun.
6. It’s cool if you have a pet. There’s plenty of room for pets. And trees and grass for them to take care of business on. The streets don’t smell like dog urine. Weird.
7. It’s gray. My vitamin D levels are plummeting.
8. My turquoise heels seem a bit out of place here – especially when I wore them to Green Lake, but the water bottle clipped to my bag fit right in.
9. People stop you on the sidewalk, asking for contributions to charity. That job would not/could not exist in Midtown.