HUMOR BY ELLA STEINBECK
New York City is the hardest place I have ever lived and I have lived in 8 different states and countless towns. New Yorkers fight and struggle all day for everything and then pay top dollar for it. NYC is like living in a very expensive third world country. It’s dirty, nobody speaks English, rats are everywhere and you never know if you are going to get mugged. It’s a lot like the month I spent in Thailand except I didn’t see any rats in Thailand. Well, not running around wild. They had them at the market … for food. I have to assume they come from some kind of farm and not the streets.
When you go on a vacation in a third world country we hear things like, “don’t drink the water,” “be careful what you eat,” or “make sure to dress fully covered.” In NYC people just say “this is the greatest city in the world.” Tourists are brainwashed. They ignore the reality of where they are and are seduced into buying t-shirts that say “I heart NY.” I am not sure what it says in the guidebooks, but I usually walk around this city being careful where I sit, or trying to figure out how to avoid the crazy person who started talking to me. And people in NYC can be so mean that I am tempted at times to ask, “How much money do you want? I will pay you $50 just to be nice to me.”
NYC is hard! I feel like if the average rent for a studio is $1500 a month and a 1 bedroom is $3000 a month, then the city should pave the streets in marble. My faucets should be made of gold not gold plated and definitely not stainless steel. I should have a giant closet with a separate room for shoes and another one just for necklaces. Instead, if an apartment has 2 small closets the listing report will say “ample closets.” For who? An American Girl Doll?
For the price you pay to live here the sky should have a giant air purifier attached to it giving you the purest most oxygeny oxygen to ever land in your lungs. Instead, I have a constant layer of black dust in my apt and an unfixable water leak in my ceiling. The building decides when I can have heat and when I can have air conditioning. At night I am afraid a rat will bite my foot as I’m walking home because I was unable to get a cab or a bus because it’s NYC and cabs are busy or it’s raining or it’s after theater or the MTA is on strike or, or, or etc. As I wait for the bus I shouldn’t have to play, “Is that human pee or dog pee I smell?” I don’t even want to talk about how disgusting every single bathroom at Starbucks is.
In the subway station I watch the rats play on the rails like they are part of a zoo exhibition. When the train finally arrives, I start hoping and praying I’ll be able to get a seat and that it’s not too crowded and that a dirty smelly homeless guy hasn’t taken up too much room with his collection of who-knows-what -and why does he need two grocery shopping carts? (How does he get around with all that stuff. Isn’t the good part about being homeless having LESS stuff to be tied to?) And then when I get to where I am going, like to Sephora to buy make-up, there’s not much left. I might have wanted the pink lipstick but I guess I will take the orange one. That’s what you do in NYC, you just take what’s left.
Now that I live here I finally understand why a New Yorker on vacation insists on having everything their way. In NYC nobody listens to you when you aren’t happy. Most of the time they just ignore you or give you attitude. It’s the land of perpetual frustration and exorbitant prices. I worked as a hair stylist at a Las Vegas hotel. When they came in they scared me! I had to do everything perfectly or they would complain. And when I say complain I mean complain to me, complain to reception, complain to the manager, complain to Trip Advisor and call Steve Wynn. They are just so happy to have someone listen the complaint doesn’t even have to be legit.
One curious thing I noticed was the high percentage of New Yorkers getting blowouts at the salon. It seems that nobody does their own hair. I finally figured it out. The blowout was probably invented because NYCers don’t actually have enough room for a blow-dryer in their tiny, expensive, ill-equipped apartments.