September 01, 2020
Are you a New Yorker who is currently spending quarantine being a #backhomeballer and enjoying your mom’s endless Costco runs and pick-up laundry service? Or did you escape the city because your roommates are psycho and you needed something even close to resembling greenspace because the fire escape just doesn’t cut it? Well, even with these simple luxuries, you probably have your fair share of things you miss about everyday life in NYC.
When the New York City shutdown hit, I came home to Indiana to wait out the storm. What I thought was going to be two weeks, has now turned into 5 and half months, and counting (*cue the mental breakdown*). I definitely find solace in knowing that we are, for lack of a better term, all in this together (…yes, that is a High School Musical reference, and I have no shame in saying that). Still, being in the Midwest this long is NOT what this New Yorker at heart had in mind for 2020. While I obviously would love to be sunbathing in Sheep Meadow on a Sunday with my besties and sipping rosé that I hid in my S’well bottle, it’s more the little things that I miss the most. These are the top 10 random things that this Hoosier misses about living in The Big Apple.
I realize this may be an unpopular opinion, and I honestly can’t believe I’m saying it either, but you guys, I miss random people talking to me. Gone are the days where I had to put my b**** face on to walk down the streets so that no one would bother me. With only my new roommates (aka my parents and my two dogs) to converse with, I find myself walking the neighborhood for anyone else to say hi to. You can’t even joke with your new friend at the grocery store about the canned sweet corn that’s on sale already being out of stock, because everyone is wearing a mask and respectfully avoiding each other. I am not saying this is wrong, this is 100% what we need to do right now. But I miss the days when there wasn’t this fear of strangers. I miss the time I was walking down 26th Street in Chelsea in the rain, and a man poked his head under my umbrella to tell me I was beautiful… just kidding, I do not miss that. I mean, thank you, I guess, but MEN, THIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT OK.
While most of the time I am #ballinonabudget, there are really only two things that I am bougie about: taking a car to the airport, and oat milk lattes. There is truly nothing better (this might be a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean) about sipping that creamy non-dairy heaven. There would be times back in Manhattan that I would be running all over the city from job to job. Treating myself to a $7 oat milk latte truly helped me make it through the 14+ hour work days. Unfortunately, I have had trouble finding oat milk at the local Dunkin’.
Ok, so I lied in my last point. There is a third thing I am bougie about (…it was kind of implied in #2, but I just wanted to clarify in case any of you try to come for me). I live for bougie coffee shops. Where my parents live in Indiana, I am thankful that there is a Starbucks down the street, but I so miss the indie coffee shops that seemingly grace every block of the city. Not only do I truly love the taste of a strong cup of artisan black coffee, but I would spend countless hours working, hanging out with friends, and reading in these shops. After living in NYC for 6 years, Starbucks just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
Again, we are back to something I never thought I would say, but I miss the MTA. For context, I am not the best driver, and I am self-aware enough to admit this. A big plus to living in NYC for me personally is that it’s a commuter and pedestrian city. You guys, in Indiana you have to drive to go anywhere. I know we’re not going anywhere anyway, because like, we’re in a global pandemic, but can you even imagine? Fine, I’m just being dramatic and I know you can imagine. But honestly, the idea taking the A train and riding it all the way from Inwood to Rockaway Beach doesn’t sound that bad to me at this moment in time.
While outdoor dining is open in Indiana, and frankly the price of a glass of wine is comparable to a good NYC happy hour anyway, I miss meeting up with friends for an after-work libation (yes, I used the word libation and I feel so fancy). As I said before, I am always #ballinonabudget, so you truly can’t beat a buy one, get one free offer. Being that I am a performing arts teacher and would be at a different school in a different neighborhood everyday, I loved discovering new spots to go to. While I have been drinking a LOT more in quarantine (…don’t judge me, you know you’ve been drinking more too), there’s only so many times you can move from the living room couch to the family room couch. I’ve honestly been considering doing a house bar crawl tbh.
This is what my sister and I call anything sweet and my mom absolutely hates it, but we both think it’s obnoxiously hilarious, so we do it anyway. A big thing I miss about NYC is being able to satisfy my sweet craving at any moment. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, but unfortunately I am a celiac and try to avoid dairy. Luckily for me, whether I am craving a gluten free brownie or some vegan ice cream, New York literally has it all! Plus, there is almost always a bakery or ice cream shop within walking distance at any time. If it weren’t for the fact that back in the city, I walked 3-4 miles a day, I’d be in big trouble. I’m lucky if I make it to even 1,000 steps these days. Also shout out to two of my favorites, By The Way Bakery and Van Luens :)!
I miss all the awesome rooftop and outdoor bars that New York has to offer. Even if that just means going over to my friend’s huge patio. I mean, you can’t beat the prices there ;). Last year for my birthday, I did a Williamsburg bar crawl with a couple of friends and ended up at the William Vale. I call myself a pseudo New Yorker and had never been there. It seriously has the best views of the city! While the William Vale is a little fancy and the drinks are pricey, there are so many other vibey spots. While summer in the city is insanely hot and you literally walk out of your door and start dripping in sweat, it is also so fun.
I realize that there are TJ MAXX’s everywhere, but when I was early for anything back in New York, I would pop in here to kill time. I almost always find something that I didn’t know I needed. If there wasn’t a TJ’s (not to be confused with Trader Joes, which I also love) close to me, I would pop into any other of my favorite stores because much like the bakeries and coffee shops, there’s always one nearby. Not only do I have to drive to get to a store, but aimlessly browsing just for fun doesn’t sound like the smartest idea right now if I’m being honest.
One of my favorite discoveries upon moving to the city almost 6 years ago was boozy brunch. Much like any other millennial woman, I STAN boozy brunch. Because I am a mix between a 13 year old girl and a 75 year old woman, I much prefer day drinking where you’re in bed by 8pm to going out at night. I also love breakfast food. Like honestly, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Both of those points combined make boozy brunch the perfect situation for me. It is truly one of my top things to do on the weekends in NYC.
So I realize that this is not a little thing, but being that I am an actor and a lot of my mornings consisted of waking up at the crack of dawn to audition in the hopes of one day making it on The Great White Way, I could not NOT mention Broadway. It is definitely my favorite thing about New York City, PERIOD. It is truly heartbreaking that theatre everywhere is shut down for the foreseeable future. Be that as it is, I know that once Broadway does come back, it is going to be even more magical than ever, and I cannot wait for that to happen.