Saturday, January 26, 2013

Falling in love again......well like!

As you know I have been suffering from NYC blues lately, but I have decided to focus on what I like about living here rather than being a misery! Over the past couple of weeks I have given it some thought and realise I have a lot to be positive about.

Since moving here over two years ago I have met some really interesting people and made some great friends.  I would miss them if I moved away, which I realise is part and parcel of being an expat-you are always going to miss someone!  I have spent some more time with my friends here lately and it has made a real difference to my outlook.

Also, I love volunteering and have become very attached to certain organisations in the city.  I am now a team leader with New York Cares and enjoy leading projects and making a difference to the community.  I really appreciate the ease at which you can volunteer in New York and have worked with some brilliant charities.  If you are looking to volunteer check out:
-New York Cares (http://www.nycares.com)
-Reading Partners (http://readingpartners.org/locations/newyork)
-The Pajama Program (http://pajamaprogram.org/WordPress/)

Over the past year or so I have become extremely interested in health and fitness (my new blog New Girl New Lifestyle is a work in progress!) and living in New York gives me access to every kind of exercise class you could possibly imagine.  I take a wide variety of classes and have recently begun to practice yoga.  New York also has an abundance of health conscious restaurants which makes it much easier to follow a healthy diet.

Running in central park has always been one of my favourite things about living in New York and although it's a bit too cold for me at the moment, a run around the reservoir always makes me feel better.

Although I will always find certain aspects of NYC annoying, focusing on the things I enjoy has made a big difference to how I look at life in the city.  I don't quite "heart" New York, but I am liking it again!

P.S. Thank you @JCairnduff for all of your positive messages!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I don't 'heart' New York

After cleaning off dog crap from the bottom of my shoes I realised that I have well and truly fallen out of love with New York.  It is a sad fact that this city is getting the better of me at the moment and all the good things about living here are being out-weighed by the bad.

I spent the Christmas holidays in Sarasota, Florida and had a great time.  Everywhere was so clean and there was so much space.  We stayed in a house with a wardrobe bigger than our bathroom in New York.  It had central air that didn't sound like a plane landing and, wait for it, a washing machine and tumble dryer!  I had forgotten what it was like to live normally, to be able to jump in a car that isn't parked 5 blocks away and wear heels as you don't have to wade through dog crap to go to dinner.  Also, the people were so much friendlier and nicer to each other.  I know it's a stereotype to call New Yorkers rude, and I know that not all of them are, but many people here are short-tempered and often seem grumpy.

I thought I would fix my New York funk by going to the Guggenheim to look at the Picasso exhibit.  I thought that being somewhere full of such amazing art would help me remember why I used to love this city so much.  Although I enjoyed the exhibit it didn't rekindle my NY fire.  There was a grumpy older women scowling and telling everyone to be quiet.  I think it's acceptable to discuss a painting in an art gallery, it's not a library!

So then I decided on a trip to the cinema for a bit of escapism.  When the lights went down a couple were talking very loudly and when asked, "Do you think you could be quiet" the reply was "Do you think you could drop dead".  Lovely.  I thought that surely the gym would be a safe-haven, nope!  I watched as endless women fought over floor space and gave each other dirty looks.  Then as 50 people tried to exercise in a space for the 30 I realised that none of my usual haunts would make me feel better.

I finally gave up after being squashed into a restaurant after being made to wait 15 minutes when we had a reservation, and instead of an apology were just given a surly look from the maitre d.  On the way home I trod in the aforementioned dog crap and that was it, I officially dumped New York.

I'm not sure if this is just a phase I am going through and that over time I will learn to love the city again, but at the moment I feel as if my bubble has been burst and New York isn't the place for me.