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13 weird things New Yorkers have learned to accept

We've had to be OK with a lot of new things this year.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

New Yorkers have had to put up with a lot this year. Our whole way of life has been completely changed, and we're learning new things about our city, our world and ourselves at the same time. Did we ever think we'd not be able to see our favorite artists in concert or simply sit inside a restaurant? 

Below are 13 things New Yorkers have had to accept to get through 2020. 

1. Sweaty face masks  

Going for a run or just doing your regular errands works up a sweat under our face masks. It’s a moist situation under there, and there’s not much we can do about it but accept the fact that we now have to deal with a semi-permanent sweat mustache.

2. Around-the-block Trader Joe's lines

We thought the lines to get into our fave grocery store were long in the Before Times, but during the pandemic, they’ve doubled and, in some cases, even tripled. Walking around the block to wait in line ... why do we put up with it? Well, it’s because we’re masochists addicted to TJ’s cauliflower jalapeño dip and pumpkin empanadas. That’s why.

3. We're not great cooks

We had enough time to figure out that we just don’t have what it takes to throw in ingredients and churn out an incredible meal. We couldn’t get our sourdough starters working and our pass at a pan sauce was just OK. Maybe we should just leave it to the professionals.

4. Being relegated to a little square on co-workers’ screens

Joking with our co-workers is much harder when we’re behind a foggy camera and our mics make it sound like we’re miles away. We can’t fully be ourselves on screen because our mannerisms, looks and words only go so far over technology.

5. Grocery shopping is a nightmare 

Grabbing items off our grocery lists isn’t as simple as grabbing our granny carts and perusing the aisles—we must gear up like we’re going to go swimming in a petri dish. Mask (and gloves) on. Avoid other shoppers like we’re playing “Frogger.” It’s exhausting.

6. No, we really don't know how to drive

Some of us have rented cars to escape the city for a bit and it’s on the road that we remembered that there’s a reason we live in NYC and take public transportation. Apologies to all those who drove behind us.

7. Pants are non-essential

Who knew that we’d be writing up reports and filing our work pants-less this year? If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we don’t need pants to do it. They’re only restricting us from being comfortable as we kick butt—and relax.

8. We’ll be watching new movies at home this year

Any plans we had to catch movies at theaters this year are kaput. Instead, any movies that do come out will have to be watched from our couches. That goes for any Broadway or theater performances as well. Our microwaved popcorn will have to do.

9. Not everyone is on the same page

As much as we believe everyone would want to work together and help make the pandemic a thing of the past, not everyone believes in the same solution despite the facts. The worst part is that there’s nothing to do about it but accept that everyone is dealing with this in their own way. We just have to do our own part to help make NYC safer.

10. Our new signature scent is alcohol

We’ve all coughed after getting too much of a whiff of our hand sanitizers. This is the new pandemic world, where our perfume is an overabundance of alcohol. Even scented hand sanitizers have grocery clerks commenting that we smell like a Bath & Body Works candle.

11. We’re clothes shopping to look good for our pets 

Face it—as much as we want to look cute for when we emerge from our homes, anything we buy online is solely for our pets’ eyes right now. Sadly, Fido and Mittens don’t care what we look like.

12. We wouldn't actually read more novels if we had more free time

Sorry to say it, but time wasn’t the reason we haven’t been reading our books. We’ve had more time than ever this year to get through that stack on our nightstands but they’re still there. It must be something else keeping us from them.

13. We wouldn't want to live anywhere else

Despite all of it, we have a stronger sense of belonging here in this crazy city. We’ve been through so much together—we have seen our theater and music scenes, as well as our favorite restaurants and bars, take a major hit. Still, we push on together to make sure this city—our city—is still the best place on earth.

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