20 June 2010

103 Things I Hate About You, New York

If I can do a list of 212 things I'll miss about NYC, an equal list of things I won't miss should be doubly easy.It was not, so I had to scale back to 103, a play on our ZIP code. I started on June 10, and here it is 10 days later and I was stuck around 110 or so. I just had to give it in and know I couldn't come up with another 100 things to hate (and why force negativity anyway?) so condensed a little and landed here at 103.

Aside: 10 Things I Hate About You was one of my favorite movies -- I think it came out when I was a senior in high school or thereabouts. I love Julia Stiles (who by the by will be starring in the next season of Dexter -- huzzah!) and could watch the movie over and over -- not something that's true for many movies and me. But I digress. Like the movie, my relationship with the city is not really about hate but love-hate. Some of these are definitively HATE, while others are dual sided and could even be featured on the love list.
  1. The bedbugs -- I know not limited to NYC but this is where we survived them -- including the itching, swelling hives, the paranoia, the expense of cleaning up after them, and constant vigilance -- if it hits the floor it has to be washed
  2. The smells on the street -- pee and poo especially, both human and canine
  3. The weird burnt cheese smell -- from the vendors perhaps ... or the subways ... or both
  4. Dirty hot dogs -- yuck when you think about that bacteria infested hot tub (go for the grilled)
  5. The crowds -- people everywhere, even in seemingly open places you'll still see 50-100 people
  6. The stifling heat -- I know I'm in for even worse in BR, but something about sweating in the city is even less appealing
  7. The bone chilling cold, although right now I'm thinking that wouldn't be so bad
  8. No way to seek refuge in a car w/ AC
  9. The subway heat
  10. The subway delays, including weekend track work and unexpected delays
  11. Ever increasing subway ticket prices while service does not improve or speed up
  12. Cutting full subway lines and service while also raising fares
  13. The noise in general, including subway noise, garbage truck noise, loud sirens, NYU carts wheeling across cobblestone under the window
  14. Having only a single window
  15. Dogs peeing on sidewalks -- concrete soaked in urine is so gross. NEVER wear flip flops around this city
  16. Neighbor's cat randomly in the common areas/hallway (specific to my building but STILL)
  17. Laundry lugging and communal washers/dryers
  18. Walking EVERYWHERE
  19. Expensive rents
  20. Small spaces: no bedroom and miniature kitchen w/ 3/4 size appliances
  21. Expensive EVERYTHING, including high utilities and insanely high city taxes
  22. Too expensive for a car
  23. Parking, or lack thereof
  24. Too expensive to RENT a car (maybe that's just me being cheap!)
  25. Ticket costs for plays, shows, etc.
  26. Museum entrance fees
  27. Drug store gouging
  28. Duane Reade -- they're everywhere but you can never find EVERYTHING you need in a single trip
  29. Boutique shopping -- snotty, too-good-for-you feeling
  30. High brow restaurants that cost too much, give too little food and leave you with the same too-good-for-you feeling 
  31. Feeling like there's so much great cuisine here and feeling bad for not fully taking advantage
  32. Same for not fully taking advantage of the cultural opportunities
  33. Or the shopping (also partly me being cheap/frugal)
  34. Lugging purchases I do make on foot
  35. Lugging purchases in the rain
  36. Lack of access to yarn and other craft items; have to take a long subway ride to get to a Michaels, and the price of those goods when you do finally get to them
  37. RATS -- subway and otherwise
  38. TOURISTS: taking your picture as part of their panoramas, looking up when they should keep moving, clotting around on the sidewalk to look at maps instead of stepping aside, not knowing how to use their Metro card on the bus, delaying the movement and lengthening a trip for everyone
  39. Sketchy people
  40. Hipster doofus people
  41. Hateful, rude, snooty people (I know they exist everywhere)
  42. Excessive tipping -- doormen, super, etc. (although I know their value in my life, it's still a PITA to tip)
  43. The particularly obnoxious doorman who made me cry after coming home from my first DC trip after moving here
  44. Obnoxious cabbies who don't know the city 
  45. Cabbies who try to gouge you with roundabout routes
  46. FILTH - on the sidewalks, in the subways, everywhere
  47. Air quality
  48. Lack of park access -- mostly because of construction but still
  49. Ridiculous commute to church -- 30-40 minutes to get a couple miles
  50. Never made it here -- i.e. never had an NYC job (my own failure, but still stings)
  51. Complete anonymity isn't always a good thing
  52. Health care seems hard to come by, but maybe it's just my experience w/ my doctor, who I will not be sad to never see again
  53. Rude nurse who works at the doctor, so brusque and unprofessional on the phone
  54. Same with my dentist -- although much less so
  55. The commute to get to my chiropractor
  56. Tiny, smelly, overpriced grocery stores
  57. Even the semi-decent one is pretty bad, AND it's a far piece to walk to, especially lugging groceries
  58. The limited selection at FreshDirect (some things I just can't get there -- sugar free jello pudding cups, for example)
  59. Bagels, street vendor pretzels, etc. -- the temptation of highly processed carbohydrates so warm and luscious
  60. Obnoxious subway performers
  61. Panhandlers (I don't like to be harassed on the subway or sidewalk for spare change)
  62. Do-gooders looking for signatures or money for causes on the sidewalk (similar don't harass me request)
  63. Hike to any airport -- but particularly Newark
  64. CRAZY people, especially drunk crazy people at night
  65. False statement: the city that never sleeps (my foot!)
  66. Graffiti - including scratch-iti on trains' windows
  67. Pigeons -- aka rats with wings
  68. The traffic -- bus rides take way too long sometimes
  69. The stupid pedestrians who walk against traffic or scramble to make the lights, mucking up everything further
  70. The stupid drivers who do the same
  71. Stupid bus and subway drivers who screech and jerk at every stop 
  72. Bicycles -- particularly those who ride on the sidewalk
  73. The dirt: within a few days after a thorough cleaning the apartment is covered in dust again
  74. The lack of ventilation in the kitchen -- everything is covered in cooking grease that is nearly impossible to remove
  75. No dishwasher to get everything clean
  76. A tiny sink that makes dish washing by hand even worse
  77. The big hump in our floor from bad construction/steam pipes
  78. The steam pipe heating itself -- too hot in the winter
  79. Parades that block traffic divert buses and change subway lines
  80. The lines everywhere, and being cut off in those lines, especially at the drug store
  81. The people who think that living in NYC somehow makes them better or cooler or something like that
  82. Water in this old building -- scalding at times
  83. The stupid bathroom sink here -- weird bump between the faucets
  84. The corner restaurant that hoses down the kitchen mats on the sidewalk, which is especially hazardous in the winter when the water freezes!
  85. Halal food smells when mixed with nearby fruity stores (esp. Lush, which stinks on its own)
  86. Crowded subway trains and buses 
  87. The rude people who jostle/fondle in such situations
  88. Smokers on the street (because no smoking in bars) and then their cigarette butts all over the place
  89. Trash randomly on sidewalks, subway tracks and in the water
  90. Bags of garbage regularly below our windows
  91. Wind whipping through the streets
  92. The New York Blood Center calling obsessively
  93. The rude blood center staff who couldn't care less if you donate DESPITE those calls
  94. No access to Walmart, long commute to a trashy Target and the K-Mart is awful, although I will give it convenience (although still have to lug purchases!)
  95. Lack of church culture (but maybe I'm not running with the right crowd!)
  96. You have to go to New Jersey to find a real mall
  97. Disgustingly small locker room at the gym
  98. And the awful women who inhabit it -- dripping in water, ignoring general etiquette
  99. The sometimes grungy equipment in the gym
  100. The sweltering heat inside the workout room
  101. No pools, unless you count the one in the gym, which is not made for lounging ... and I can't swim well enough for laps
  102. Lack of public bathrooms
  103. It's so far away from almost all the people I love!

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