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31 things that only New Yorkers would ever put up with

We’re the most demanding people in the whole country, so why do we all put up with stupid crap like this?

By Nick Leftley

New York is an amazing place to live. AMAZING. We have the best food, the best shows, the best art, the best everything. (Let's just look at the 31 reasons New York kicks L.A.'s ass, just as an example.) We expect the best at all times, so why is it, every day, we deal with a whole bunch of stuff that people from anywhere else would find completely unacceptable? Stuff like…

RECOMMENDED: The New York guide to life

1. So many bars and restaurants are cash-only

I'm sorry, I thought this was the 21st century. Do you take gold doubloons? How about salt? Or would you prefer we go back to the barter system?

2. The subway looks like crap

In a modern city, why does the subway look like it's straight out of a postapocalyptic movie? The sewer water running between the tracks, the peeling paint, the cracked tiles, the dripping pipes… Take the crowds of people out, and you could easily believe they'd all been completely abandoned for 50 years.


3. Apartment prices are INSANE

We all know it. We all do it anyway. What the fuck is wrong with us?

4. Bedbugs. Fucking bedbugs!

There is nowhere else in the first world that comes with the constant threat of having to move out and burn all your possessions.


5. Grocery-store prices are ridiculous

It is not normal for takeout to be cheaper than cooking at home. NOT NORMAL.

6. Tipping mean taxi drivers

They take us the wrong way, drop us five blocks away from our destination, shout at us for using a card, make us cry and then demand we tip them 20 percent. Which we do, then say “have a nice day” as we get out of the cab, our faces wet with tears.


7. Public restrooms are either invisible or disgusting

New York, the below GIF should not be considered aspirational.

8. Most apartments don't have laundry

Why do we all just accept that most of us have to spend half our weekend sitting in the Laundromat? Either that or playing laundry roulette with a wash-and-fold place, praying you actually get mostly your stuff back this time.


9. Alternate-side parking

Tell foreign friends that this is A Thing in New York, and they will laugh in your face. Yes, really: We get up at 7am to move the car to the other side of the street. Sigh.

10. The rats

Visitors to New York would think there is some sort of nightmare invasion that needs immediate attention. And they’d be right, but somehow, we’re okay with it.


11. Walk-ups

Five flights of stairs to my overpriced apartment? Sounds reasonable!

12. People still have roommates

Most people stopped having roommates after college, but not here. Hey, roomie! So glad I can hear you having loud sex in the tiny room next to my tiny room with the paper-thin walls between us at 3am when I have work tomorrow and I know for a fact that you’re alone in there! 


13. The garbage on the streets

Ah, New York. Cosmopolitan hub of commerce and style, envied the world over for its effortless chic. Except that, oh look, there are six-foot-high piles of reeking trash bags piled on every corner leaking grungy brown-green juice onto my shoes. Oh well, guess I'll just hold my breath. For the next 18 blocks.

14. Grocery-store lines

Okay, I just need to buy one item, I’ll run into Trader Joe’s and…and browse the aisle 200 feet from the cash register, which is where the fucking line currently starts. 


15. Daily spending adds up FAST

It's a guarantee that you will spend at least $30 a day. Consider this money a toll for leaving your apartment every morning. Yes, I will spend $5 for that cupcake. Green juice, $10? Why not!

16. Screening calls from your parents who aren't New Yorkers

Prepare for hundreds of text messages and daily calls from Mom and Dad, who are still convinced that it’s the 1970s. "Just checking to make sure you weren't raped, stabbed or struck by a cab, or raped and stabbed by the driver of the cab that struck you.”


17. The number of restaurants that don't take reservations

There is nowhere else in the world where people voluntarily wait three hours for a meal. Would it be so hard to pick up a phone?

18. Distances are deceptive

Anywhere else, a two-hour trek could get you to another state. Here, it barely gets you from north to south Brooklyn.


19. New York seems designed to funnel you right toward the people you want to see least

You think the city's so large, you'll never have to run into your ex or your annoying former coworker. Wrong! You will see them all at least once a week.

20. Not having a car

Oh, sure, you can have a car. But it’ll either cost you a fortune in parking, or you can try your luck on the street, both of which will end with you foaming with rage. Meanwhile, every time you go to the grocery store, you can only buy as much as you can carry in your two sad hands.


21. Block-long lines for a food truck

It’s a food truck, people. 

22. Incessant walking = catcalls

Ladies, in a city where you walk everywhere, get ready to receive marriage proposals from the bodega dude, construction worker and friendly neighborhood bum all on your short walk to grab coffee. Anywhere else, you'd just roll up your car window and shut the idiot noise out.


23. The NYPD is always spoiling our fun

We get that you're trying to keep the peace, but can't you just please let me enjoy this cold beer in the park without ticketing me? This is why we can't have nice things.

24. Talking of which, stop-and-frisk laws are an abomination

Who is this protecting, exactly?


25. Cute shoes will be sacrificed

You rarely hear a New Yorker complain about walking too much. But you will hear a woman's quiet sobs as she collects a pool of blood in her stiletto heels.

26. Major city arteries getting deliberately clogged

For all the dubious appeal of corn-on-the-cob stands and discount linens, street fairs have long been the bane of vehicular traffic. And the Bloomberg strategy of deliberately narrowing major thoroughfares and/or converting them to pedestrian malls has made Manhattan traffic even more of a time-suck hell.


27. Making plans with a large group is almost impossible

By the time you finally settle on a place that's convenient for everyone, and by the time they actually arrive, you might as well have just stayed home and ordered Seamless. 

28. The schizo weather

Fancy feeling like you're suffocating in the humidity? Or that your extremities are about to be frozen right off in the cold? Often within weeks of each other? Great! You live in the right city!


29. The “modern” AC units

Apartments with built-in AC? Hell no! Let's ram a cumbersome, dusty box in the window that circulates tepid air and makes so much noise that when autumn comes and you turn it off, you're terrified at the prospect of being able to hear your own thoughts again.

30. The noise

We thought it was called “the city that never sleeps” because of all the things to do at all hours. Nope! It’s called that because with the fire trucks and the traffic and the sirens and the shouting and the drunk people and the upstairs neighbor who will for some reason not stop playing Katy Perry, no one ever gets a good night’s sleep, ever. 


31. People from other places telling us we should leave New York

Screw you, we’re staying. We love this ridiculous, amazing city. We’re sick, and we don’t care.


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