Sunday, June 28, 2009

10 Things People Love in New York

There are a few trends here in New York that are not particularly prominent in my previous residence of Pennsylvania. I'm just going to highlight a few things that everyone seems to love around here, more so than anywhere else.

1. Avocados

Avocado slices, avocado salad, guacamole, whatever. This stuff is everywhere. Since living in New York, I've had avocado on my sandwiches, on salads, and in guacamole at almost every party involving appetizers. Go to a restaurant in Brooklyn and I guarantee you'll find avocado on at least 50% of the menu items. I'm sure this is more popular in a place like California (as I was informed while brainstorming this list) but there's definitely much more avocado affinity in New York than Pennsylvania.

2. Bloody Marys

Until living in New York, I have never had a Bloody Mary. Now I'm practically a connoisseur. Hot sauce, horseradish, Worscheshire sauce, green olives, cilantro, celery, etc. The list goes on and on. This drink is practically a meal, and two of them will get you drunk and full. Of course, you'll probably pay $10 a pop.

3. Brunch

A great way to combine #1 and #2. On the weekends, almost everyone in New York goes out to brunch. They can roll out of bed at 1 p.m. and get a huge breakfast complete with free coffee and a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Harefield Road, on Metropolitan Ave in Brooklyn, has one of the best Bloody Marys I've had. They also put avocado on almost every entree. It's a delicious hangover remedy.

4. PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon. For some reason, PBR has a monopoly over cheap beer in New York. It's cheaper than every other beer, and available at every single bar. They give this stuff away for free at art galleries, promotions, and Handmade Music Night. There's even a free PBR night at the Lazy Catfish. Although Brooklyn Lager takes the cake as the prominent good beer, you can't hide the fact that PBR is $2 a can.

5. Kickball

Every Sunday night at McCarren Park, you can find dozens of twenty-somethings clad in homemade uniforms competing in a three-month kickball league that spans the entire summer in Brooklyn. This is taken quite seriously, and I know some people that will practice a few nights a week in preparation of the big games on Sunday.

6. Grizzly Bear

The band Grizzly Bear, based out of Brooklyn, has been making a name for quite some time. Their album Yellow House blew up in 2006, resulting in tours with Radiohead and TV on the Radio. In 2009, they released Veckatimest and received lots of critical acclaim. This band is pretty much worshiped around New York, playing back-to-back sell-out nights.

7. The Dirty Projectors

Another Brooklyn-based band, the Dirty Projectors are hot off of the release of their new album Bitte Orca and collaborations with David Byrne at Radio City Music Hall. The eclectic mix of off-time rhythms and Dave Longstreth's warbling make this band either really amazing or really annoying, you decide. I will say that people around here will drop whatever they're doing to catch the Dirty Projectors live, especially if it's free.

8. Fixed Gear Bikes

BikeSnobNYC refers to it as the "Fixed Gear Apocalypse." It's the "Zen feeling" of riding with no brakes or gears and feeling one with the bike and the road. Don't get me wrong, I ride to work every day and I can understand the convenience of fixed gear bikes (total speed control, stopping on a dime without needing rim brakes, simplicity, etc), but many of these bikes are also ridiculously clean and/or stylish. It's almost more of a contest than a lifestyle.

9. Falafel

If you want to eat cheap and delicious, falafel is the meal of choice. A sandwich usually never costs more than $3, and depending on where you go, the toppings can vary from cabbage and pickles to cauliflower and eggplant. Oasis on N. 7th in Williamsburg is a convenient location, right across from the subway. Other notable locations include Mamoun's (W. Village), Olive Valley (Bushwick), and Pita Joe (14th St.) The random falafel carts in Manhattan also provide a delicious and quick meal for someone on the go. I eat falafel about twice a week. It's replaced pizza as my cheap meal.

10. iPhones

It didn't take long for the iPhone phenomenon to sweep the country in much the same way as the iPod. However, it has almost absorbed EVERYONE in New York. I'm probably one of about five people that live in New York without one. With the maps feature and instant internet access, it's perfect for a person that is constantly on the go. Bar specials, entertainment, directions, everything is at your fingertips. Which also means most people are looking at the palm of their hand 75% of the time. I'm going to hold off as long as I can, sacrificing the convenience for living in the real world.


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  2. Um, replace falafel, PBR, and kickball with cilantro, pitbulls, and mustaches and you have 10 things about Los Angeles. ESPECIALLY fixed gear bikes and mustaches. But seems the two cities are in almost total sync.

  3. just had my first bloody mary the other day, i guess as zany college students we just relied on the hair of the dog for our hangover cures, now we have city lives with city sized hangovers and the need for some weirdo drinks. but your right, they are hip here and gooooooooood.