This summer, a former boss moved from NYC to the South after more than two decades in the city, and she described her new home as a safe haven following a long “war”: “Manhattanites are so proud of the tribulations we endure, we wear it like a badge, like having served a tour of duty. And now the war is over and I am enjoying the peace.”
I felt the same when I abandoned New York for California in late September, but now that I’ve had some time to adapt to my sunnier, far less dramatic lifestyle on the West Coast, I can see what worked and didn’t work for me back East. Here are 13 things I miss (and don’t miss) about living in New York.
What I Miss
1. The subway
I’m not interested in chatting up strangers during my commute, so driving everywhere in LA gives me solitude and time to think when I’d like some space. It’s also environmentally unfriendly and a pain during traffic, so I miss NYC’s amazing public transit system, which took me everywhere at a significantly cheaper cost.
2. The Bagels
I don’t want to talk about it.
3. Dunkin’ Donuts
DD lives up to its slogan more than any other business: America runs on Dunkin’. DD was open throughout Hurricane Sandy (for better or worse), the employees have always been friendly to me, and the drinks are fun and indulgent when you want a little more sugar in your coffee than Starbucks is willing to provide. This sounds nerdy, but Dunkin’ was a huge part of my life on the Upper East Side, and I do miss the sense of community it gave me every weekend. When I went to DD for the first time in a month since purchasing my own coffee pot, one of the employees screamed and gave me a hug. Not even my friends are that stoked to see me after ample time apart. Will I get my community back when the East Coast treasure makes it out to LA? Maybe. But maybe not.
Even if you’re too busy to work out, you’re constantly running around the city trying to get from place to place. With all the LA driving I do, there’s not a whole lot of walking on my part anymore, and I worry I’ll eventually put on weight as a result.
NYC is humid in the summer and freezing in the winter, but fall is pleasant and comfortable, and I feel lucky I got to experience it this year.
I know I knocked on it in a previous post, but Seamless is a life saver every once in a while, especially when you come home after a tiring day at the office and have no interest in cooking.
7. The creative street and subway artists
I once spent a half hour watching break dancers in the Union Square subway station. The quality performers always attract a large crowd, and last I checked, so does this super cool guy who hangs out on the L train platform. Go hang out with him sometime — he’s fun!
8. Being the Californian
There are plenty of West Coast natives in NYC, but it’s still neat to be the out-of-towner. When LA people ask me where I’m from, I forget that I don’t have to start with “California” as I did in New York. I’m just another girl from the Bay Area trying to fight my way into the screenwriting world.
9. 24-Hour CVS and Duane Reade
Because where else could I get Cheez-Its at 3 a.m. after bar hopping the night away (pizza wasn’t an option for me, remember?)?
10. Cute buildings with character and brownstones
Because they make for gorgeous Instagrams if nothing else:
11. Coffee trucks
I could always turn to these when Starbucks and Dunkin’ lines were long enough to make me late to work and I’d run out of Keurig K-cups at home.
12. Getting to wear black so much
I bask in the warmth of LA, but when I want to wear black tights and a black dress, I overheat and look out of place.