Sometimes you don’t realize how much you missed something until you have it back again. Moving from Mexico City back to New York City hasn’t really resulted in much “reverse culture shock” but we have been going through some sticker shock (“Wait, how much is that pint of beer?!?). For the most part, it’s been lovely getting re-acquainted with a city I love. A few examples:
1. Seasons! I forgot they are beautiful. The city does a great job of sprucing up every free inch of the city, and it’s smartly done. Unlike similar efforts in Mexico City, which always seemed to result in watching a lot of plants slowly die.
2. Deli sandwiches at every corner store, and take-out restaurants all over the place. It’s no longer awkward to go to a restaurant (or bodega) by myself, order food, and skedaddle ASAP. In general, it feels really good to understand the local customs about money (for the most part) and have far fewer awkward encounters.
3. Ubiquitousness of iced coffee. Man, I missed the stuff. I do get a little annoyed at myself for enjoying such a non-environmentally friendly habit, so I hope to start cold brewing at home again soon, forgoing the plastic cups. I never could find a decent cup of iced coffee — I prefer straight-up Americano con leche, azucar y hielo — in Mexico.
4. Grocery stores that look like this. Mexico had great mercados, but terrible grocery stores that were not only light on variety and ambiance, but also allowed dozens of street vendors to line up right outside, making the entire experience intensely claustrophobic, loud and dirty. Here, Brendan goes into shop for a few things, while I sit at a picnic table with Charlie, enjoying a few quiet moments with my fur ball.
5. Public parks with dogs on leashes. No more fighting with Condesa brats neighbors!
6. Brownstones and row houses. They’re just pretty, simple as that.