Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We came, we went, we didn't kill each other!

This weekend themacinator went to New York. Months and months ago my sister and I had decided to do this trip and, to be honest, I kind of forgot about it- life has been pretty busy with #onlineschool and work and gardening and house buying and also,  I'm a forgetter. It happened that remembering happened around December and I don't know who started it, but for birthday/Hannukah with both gave each other the gift of a promise not to kill the other. And it worked! We're both home and alive (at least I am, and I can swear she was alive when I left her at the Balboa Park BART station Monday- anything else is out of my control).

While we were in NYC we had a few observations. My sister did some research and got some answers- those are also included. This post is an homage to our dad, but please don't expect the same greatness!

General observations:

*Where are the grocery stores? (We walked a shitton in Manhattan the first day and saw zero grocery stores. Bodegas, sure, corner stores in our language, but no grocery stores. The last day, in Chelsea, we saw a couple, including the world's smallest Whole Paycheck.) Small Answer provided by Coworker of Sister: They're there, they're just small. Answer partially confirmed by observation. Partially negated by the fact that we also saw approximately 10 people the whole time in the act of carrying groceries. Three of these people were on their way to Roosevelt Island which did, in fact, have something resembling a grocery store.

*How is everyone so skinny slash how can they eat SO MUCH FATTY FOOD? (Read: even in the trendiest parts of San Francisco, have you ever seen two cupcake stores on one block?) These people REALLY like their desserts, but many, you could tell the minute you got on the plane back to San Francisco that we were dealing with a different group, and I never thought the Bay Area was that bad! Our thoughts: New Yorkers walk a lot since they don't drive? They smoke more? Related question: What is the average BMI in NYC? Attempt at partial answer provided by Coworker of Sister: MhM, basically (ie: walking and smoking)

*Correlated Question: Where are all the gyms?? These people are so skinny, don't they work out incessantly? Answer: lb found them in the Upper East Side- there are as many as if you go to SoMa or anywhere in Oakland. Answer from Coworker of Sister: They're there, they're just on the second floor, where there is more space (note from themacinator: still didn't see them/signs for them till we got over to that side of island, but we'll take it!)

*How much is retail space in those expensive touristy places? Times Square? 5th Ave? SoHo? A girl like me wants to guess 10k/month in 5th Ave, but that seems so... low or high depending.

*Is it legal to have a yellow car that isn't a cab? Partial answer provided by observation: We saw one yellow SUV type thing that wasn't a cab (or it was a bizarre under-cover-cab). This does not prove legality but does prove that they exist.

*Observation/Question/Judgmental moment: How do people raise kids in Manhattan or get old in Manhattan? It seems really hard/expensive/awful! One of us was particularly stunned by the multi-use playground/dogpark situation (one of us thought it was rad)- who takes their children there!? There really aren't many ways to get around with a stroller or a cane- the subway has lots of stairs and broken elevators and is super crowded and you'll get really skinny really fast walking the island, which isn't much of a priority when you're raising small kids or being old. No real answer here except that a) Florida makes sense and b) why isn't New York the least kid per capita place (themacinator thinks it's San Francisco but may have made that up)?

*Related Observation: ADA compliance appears to be a low priority for folks in this town. Either, as sister suggests, the buildings are really old and it's near impossible and/or they're working on it, or people are much more organized in the Bay Area. The subway (which I love) just isn't feasible if you're any kind of differently abled and there's no warning that you might get off at a stop that is under repair or not set up for your needs. We went through a lot of those swirly gates to enter/exit- even I wasn't fast enough and had to deal with a grumpy station agent (I don't think the height of the booth was ADA compliant) to get through again. Restaurants, stores, etc- we saw one restaurant with a lift to get down into the main seating area and I was shocked- it was the first real adjustment I had seen (that said, I think all of the seating in the restaurant was on stool-type seating at raised tables).

Finally, themacinator would like to know if the beautiful water towers on the top of the roofs are still in use. Please don't take them down if not- they're lovely.


thb said...

Next sister trip: Las Vegas? San Antonio? St Paul? Los Angeles? (there's a theme, right?)