Soooo ... This is an art & culture blog, but for some strange reason, I feel compelled to share thoughts and images about the kooky, crazy tri-state world I'm trying desperately to navigate on a daily basis. So instead of fighting my instincts, I've decided to go all in.
Don't worry. This won't become a Livejournal-esque space. Just a few random ideas, observations and words of wis-"dumb" that come to mind as I go about my day, yet may keep to myself because too much extroverting is exhausting.
Going forward, I'll list these posts under the category "Hoosier in Tri-State" because 1) my mind feels like it's forever switching from the Id, the Ego and the Superego until my head hits the pillow each night, and 2) with my folks living just on the other side of the PA border, I'll be traveling back and forth between NY and PA more often than CT and NY. So in this instance, "tri-state" refers to NY-NJ-PA, not CT-NY-NJ.
So without further ado, here's just a few observations that strangely look like advice from a Midwestern transplant who since moving to the East Coast can't seem to learn anything the easy way.
Roughly the amount of time it takes to become comfortable with the NYC metro transit system so you no longer look entirely like a rube.
"Clifton, Kearny and Belleville"
The places you have to drive to in order to buy anything at Target, Barnes & Noble, ShopRite, Wal-Mart or Family Dollar because these stores either don't exist in Newark or they're so far in the other direction, it's quicker to travel 4 miles north or east and buy it in another city. In Indianapolis, all of these towns would be in the same city. But hey, if you want Popeye's, Kmart or a travel agent specializing in vacations to Latin America, you'll never be lonely here.
What you'll hear and learn about from every other person talking loudly on their phones inside Kwai Lam, the local Chinese food place on my block, as you wait for your order. I was quite impressed with the energy, determination and frankness of a 30-something black woman who had a cancerous brain tumor, a horrible surgirical scar, and enough pluck to make us all feel lazy.
The number of days I got to enjoy my apartment building's air conditioning before it completely stopped working.
"The 4 seats facing each other near the back or front of each train car"
Where you should look for seats on the commuter train every morning when you board for NY Penn. By the time it hits Newark or Secaucus, most of the seats are taken up by all the passengers from other locations. But for some reason, the people who sit in the 4 seats that face each other -- 2 seats to a bench with 1 set always traveling backwards -- usually only have 2 people in them desperately trying not to touch knees. Go there. Say "Excuse me" and indicate you would like to sit down. Don't ride for 22 minutes standing up because people think public transportation should leave room for awkward knee-touching.
That's all for now, kids. If you have any questions or would like to know anything else about my un-amazing adventures so far, please ask away. Or if you have any tidbits or amusing tales to share, please do. :-)