One big thing about New York is that it is physically hard to live here. The main difference I notice when I go home to Utah is the ease of things. Everyone has a car. If you need an item (of any size) you just get in your car and go. Then you get the item(s), load it/them in your car, and drive home with nary a drop of sweat breaking. If you want to get anywhere, you get in your car and go. You are in complete control of your travels. This might seem like nothing to you but I had completely forgotten what that feels like until I got a bike. I know, weird, right?
Here, every time you are going somewhere you have to decide which train is the best to take, or which bus, and if you should take one or the other. If you take the bus you try to go online to find the times but even that is a potentially arduous process. You may wait for a long time for the train too. Maybe not. Once you get on the train, you may be stalled for several minutes, maybe an hour, for reasons unknown to you. Ok, so if you're in a car, sitting in traffic is a common occurance but at least you'rebehind the wheel and you know why you've stopped. Maybe you can't see the obstruction but you can see all the cars in front of you that are stopped as well. Regardingmy bike, one time i had a Dr. appointment in B-town. After the whole routine of figuring out the best way to get there i suddenly realized, I can take my bike! I can leave whenever i want! And then I can leave immediately and not depend on something else to get me hoooome! It was awesome.
Whenever I shop i take into consideration the things I need to buy. Groceries are generally no big deal. There's a grocery store 4 blocks away so it's easy and quick to get there. If I don't have my cart , then I know I can't buy too many heavy things. Milk, but not juice. Bananas--ooh, those tend to be heavy. Applesauce? Yipes. Any canned goods= lots of weight. See what I mean? And even if I do have my cart, there are some places/distance to which i just don't want to take it. Consider stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. Consider the things one might buy at these stores. Furniture, wall items, gardening equipment, etc. You can either tie big things up with twine and hoof it all home or, if you're in Manhattan, get a cab, which will cost about $30-$40. Usually we just carry it home. It is not unusual to see people carrying items such as tall bookshelves or organization units, chairs, tables, things of that nature, just out on the sidewalk.
I hope it doesn't sound too much like I'm complaining. I mean, yes, I wish I had a car. It would make things so much easier. But there's something about not taking things for granted and really having to work for the simple things of every day life that is very satisfying. Recently, some friends of ours, the Gibsons, moved from Brooklyn to Cincinnati, Ohio. In an email, Jon perhaps states best everything I've been trying to say. He said:
"We really miss life there - life is comfortable here, that's the nice thing and the drawback. There really is something about the daily need of survival that energizes one to make a place for themselves. Here, well, everything is so not urgent or pressing - since, well, you can just drive there quickly or there is no real difficulty in accomplishing it - thus you don't appreciate it."