It is almost time for me to leave New York City and although I am excited about my next adventure, leaving New York will be difficult. Things happen in this city, that would not happen anywhere else, it is a truly magical place.

Here are some encounters, stories and such that I have noticed about NYC that makes it a unique and exciting place to live:

1. Nothing phases you when you live in New York City

Walking home from dinner in the East Village, my friend and I passed a man loudly defecating on the sidewalk. Neither one of us batted an eyelid, we just carried on with our conversation. It was only 10 blocks later we brought up what we had seen when we were saw a dog doing his business on the side of the road.

2. Not Entirely Blind

One sunny afternoon, I was walking through Tompkins Square Park when I saw an older man reading on a bench beside his walker which had a fluro sign that read 'BLIND'. I then noticed what he was reading, it was a deluxe edition of Playboy magazine. And boy was he having a good read of it! 

3. Rooftop Viewing

A (female) nude shoot was taking place on a Lower East Side rooftop. Subsequently all the surrounding roofs were occupied with male onlookers, my roommates included along with their deck chairs and beer.

4. The Two Hour Wait

New Yorkers are always on the go. 'Rush, rush, rush' is what they say under their breath running from one appointment to the next. Ironically though, at trendy New York restaurants, New Yorkers willingly wait up to two hours for a good table and meal. They will slow down for what is important, and food to a New Yorker is very important.


5. The Transitional City

Around the 1st of every month you will see discarded mattress and belongings in front of apartment buildings all around the city. They are left by people moving out of New York to somewhere new or to a new apartment with better furnishings. As a local you are told early on to steer clear of these obstacles, as you never know what might be lingering out of sight. However, from time to time, the unsuspecting visitor or intoxicated person, decides it is a good idea to take one of these objects home or have a little disco nap on a sidewalk mattress but end up bringing bedbugs home with them too.

Which brings me to the next subject...

6. Bedbugs

New Yorkers are afraid of very few things. Bedbugs, however, terrify them. When bedbugs are mentioned, New Yorkers begin to itch and shudder at the mere thought of them. Bedbugs are a serious problem in NYC and can make you go insane. They run you out of your apartment, all of your belongings; clothes, books, etc must be steamed in big cookers, and your whole apartment has to be professionally dealt with. In most cases, the whole apartment building has to be cleaned out if too much time has gone by and they have spread. itch...shudder....itch...

7. Public Restrooms

You can find some of the best and some of the worst restrooms in this city. The best include Bryant Park Public Restroom, Tory Burch's store on Elizabeth Street and West Village restaurant, Tremont, whose restrooms are best described as how you would want your Hamptons beach house to be decorated. Check em' out!

Image: New York City sunset- The Cool Hunter

8. New York City Restaurants owned by stars.

Five Leaves, Greenpoint: the restaurant was planned by the late Heath Ledger and it was brought to life by his friends after his death.

Laughing Man, TriBeCa: owned by Hugh Jackman.

Locanda Verde, The Greenwich Hotel, Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Nobu Next Door: owned by Robert De Niro.

9. The Summer Stench

The ground on humid summer days after rain lets off the most potent and powerful smell which is picked up by the breeze and unkindly wafts by your nose when you least expect it. You'll see many of the restaurants and stores scrubbing down the sidewalks in front with chemicals to get rid of these putrid fragrances.

10. Anything Goes Fashion

You see every sort of style in the city, which makes it such a colourful and interesting place day in, day out. There is a women in her 80's in the East Village who always wears a turban and mutters to herself. There is also a slim and extremely tanned older gentleman who always wears a white t-shirt, white tracksuit pants rolled up to his knees and a white beanie with two clear cellophane bags hanging off the left side of his pants with more cellophane bags folded up inside them. He constantly looks as if he is ready to go to a white rave party. Who knows what he does with his collection of bags. I have been tempted to start a conversation with characters such as these two, but have stopped myself as you never know what they will say or how long you will be in the conversation for.

11. Jaywalking

Jaywalking is ubiquitous in New York, especially Manhattan. In 1998, Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, attempted to increase jaywalking fines and even ordered police officers to start giving summonses to offenders but it was hopeless. New Yorkers jaywalk, it is a fact of life. And I have to note, once you jaywalk it is hard to go back.

12. New York Driving Laws

As a pedestrian or passenger, there does not seem to be any driving laws except for stop at red and go at green. But even that is questionable.

13. Chinatown

Chinatown in New York City is like every other Chinatown in the world. It is smelly, crowded and they sell exotic fruits and vegetables and to me if felt like home.

14. NYC Cabs

When I think of New York City cabs a few things come to mind; lunatic driving, carsick inducing and dodgem cars. The best way to overcome a speed demon traffic weaver is to say you are with child and you are feeling nauseous, only if you are a women of course. Guys, sorry you will have to come up with your own excuse.

Lei xx