Friday, July 5, 2013

9 Things I *Won't* Miss About Living in New York

Paul, unloading the car while temporarily parked in front of a fire hydrant

As much as I love New York, it's not always easy to live here. Personally, I think the pros outweigh the cons, but it's tempting to think differently when it's 90 degrees outside and your air conditioner isn't yet installed.

In no particular order, here are nine things I won't miss about living in New York:

1. The Noise.

Yep, noise was also on my list of things I'll miss about New York. I like the hubbub of living in Brooklyn, but there are certain noises I won't miss at all. At the top of that list is probably car alarms. Especially when they go off for hours nonstop in the middle of the night. And yes, that actually happened once.

2. Laundromats.

If you absolutely have to use a Laundromat, then ours is about as good as they get. Clean, tidy, air conditioned, just around the corner and open into the evening. But no matter how bright and cheery, it's still a Laundromat and we still have to drag our loads of laundry down three flights of stairs and then back up again. Also: No need to save our quarters anymore!

3. Tiny Grocery Stores.

Bodegas are one thing -- they're small, but that's OK because you're only getting perishable items. Tiny grocery stores are quite another thing. It's generally easier to use a basket because the carts barely fit down the aisle. And there's an annoyingly tiny selection of products.

Bay Ridge and the city as a whole do have some larger grocery stores, but these come with other issues; namely, you'll want to stockpile foods when you actually go to one of the nice supermarkets, which means you'll need a car, which means you'll be double parking in front of your apartment to unload the groceries. And all before you go try to find a parking spot.

4. No Parking Spots.

And speaking of parking spots, they can be hard to find. Paul, who has to find a parking spot each day after work, says it takes 5 or 10 minutes on a good day, or up to 25 minutes on a bad afternoon. And on those late nights when we're returning from a long drive from Ohio or a weekend trip, your heart sinks as you keep circling the blocks as the clock tick-tocks nearer and nearer to midnight.

5. Traffic.

The traffic doesn't bother me too much since I rarely drive here, but I hate it on Paul's behalf. Even though Paul drives nearly every work day, he still hates the craziness -- and it makes me nervous when I'm a passenger. Cars are double-parked. Bikes and pedestrians dart into the lanes. Drivers are aggressive, and you better, too.

6. No Free Refills.

I don't like pop, and I don't buy pop, but this still bothers me. It's just the principle!

7. Window Air Conditioning Units.

All hail central air. Window units are loud and inconvenient, and you'd need about five to keep the apartment truly cool. I can't wait to have a programmable thermostat again.

8. Not Being Able to Control the Heat.

And that thermostat will be pretty sweet in the winter, too. Here, we're pretty much at the mercy of our landlord. There's no real way to control the amount of heat -- or lack of it -- that comes through the radiators. And we also don't control when the heat comes on for the season, which can lead to some cold fall days (and, on a related note, cold spring days when the heat's turned off for the year).

9. Stairs.

Groceries. Laundry. Luggage. An area rug. Stroller and baby. A lot of stuff -- and a lot of heavy stuff -- have gone up and down the three flights to our apartment. But it's not just at home that we meet lots of stairs. There's the subway, of course, and almost every building you enter, it seems. New York was built up, and it's obvious by the number of stairs.

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