Things That Remind Me I'm on the Other Side of the Country, Part 1

So here's the thing New York, this thing you call a beautiful Spring... In Northern California we call this Winter, also Spring and Fall. I mean, I can understand after months of freezing snow and no trash being picked up, this alternation between warm enough to sit on the roof, read and get sunburned and 60s and pouring rain must seem pretty awesome, because at least there's not snow, but this is not actually awesome. The tulips everywhere are pretty and I've always wanted an excuse to own a trenchcoat, so I'll put some points back in the plus column for those things.

Other things going in the New York plus column right now:

1. Public transit. It goes everywhere. And it goes everywhere late at night. I mean, you might have to wait for a while, but there is at least one train line running to where you want to go. As somebody that  needed to take the M home late at night in San Francisco and also didn't live remotely near any Owl buses and was afraid of walking far in my neighborhood because I didn't want to get killed by the people dealing drugs in the middle of the street (yeah, Oceanview!), I really really love this. I double love this because:

2. Late nights. I have a tendency to not notice how late it is, because everything is still open. Ok, not everything. But restaurants, bars, drug stores, food carts, are all still open at 2am and that is awesome. Or not awesome when I realized that I can't judge time by how many people are still out and about and I actually need to be on my way to work in 4 hours. If I didn't have to open both weekend days and made a lot more money, this would basically be the best/worst thing ever. New York City clearly wants me to be an alcoholic, because if you think I can resist being able to eat $.99 pizza and drink at 3am on a regular basis, you are wrong and the fact that you can keep getting food, just makes it that much easier to keep drinking.

3. Bodegas. Not that we don't have corner stores in California, but I almost never go to them. Probably because there's real grocery stores nearby to almost everywhere but since grocery stores here mostly suck (a lot) I might as well buy things from bodegas and fruit stands because they're right there, and often cheaper. Especially the fruit stands.

4. Coffee carts. This really goes in both the plus and minus columns. Plus because when I want a $1 coffee at 7am because I know the baristas at work won't be ready to make me a cappuccino until 10, there are coffee carts to supply me with my caffeine fix. Minus because I'm pretty sure this is part of the reason New Yorkers are not coffee snobs. The coffee from coffee carts is worth the $1 you pay for it. It tastes like coffee from Denny's at 3am on a Wednesday.

5. Diners. My favorite diners at home (Rudy's Cant Fail in Emeryville, Sparky's in SF and Howard's Cafe in Occidental) aren't really true diners. I love them. A lot. But my favorite thing at Rudy's is The Tower of Power which has MorningStar Farms "sausage" patties and none of those diners can really be put in the cheap greasy spoon category. There are diners everywhere here. Real diners. $7 eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast, orange juice and crappy coffee breakfast special diners. I mean no, I don't really know how all the food was grown/raised to allow the prices to be so cheap, but if I can't have farm to table every day, I'll settle for the opposite. I really can't emphasize enough how I only know how to do extremes. (Seriously, I didn't have any home made chicken broth the other day, so I ate Top Ramen, I don't think this is how normal people operate)

Next up: Things in the minus column.