I was recently asked by a friend, “What has been the most difficult transition with moving to New York?” You probably wouldn’t guess my answer because this isn’t something you generally would think much about. Most of you reading my blog own a car, maybe even two of them. While I do still own my Honda Element, things are much different in the city. You also probably have the availability to store a lot of unnecessary collectibles and you probably even have an entire room dedicated to your laundry machines.
The most difficult transition is not driving, the people, the busyness or even working from home. All of that was relatively easy to adapt to. It is grocery shopping and doing laundry. In Tampa, grocery shopping consisted of visiting any store within a 10 mile radius and could even be a spurt-of-the-moment occurrence. Grocery shopping has to be woven into your schedule and planned at least 24 hours in advance along with a very specific list of items that can be carried in a single trip. Marlyse used to make fun of me when I would try to gather all of the groceries from the trunk of the car with a single trip. Now, that happens every single time we go shopping. The store we go to is 9 stops away while riding the train. We do have a closer one if we need a small amount of items but Trader Joe’s is the cheapest for the best quality.
While our first apartment was in a big complex and we had to do laundry at the buildings facility, this doesn’t come close to that experience. Laundry is the other event carefully planned out. There are three laundry mats within the decent walking distance. The location of choice is about six blocks away named the Laundry Lounge. Free drying and free Wi-Fi along with actual seats makes this an excellent laundry mat! One month ago, we did laundry at a location that had no seating, everyone was waiting for the dryer, all of the laundry carts were full and that one lady was taking up one fourth of the facility by deciding to wash all of her comforters, sheets, towels and clothes. Laundry is a four hour event that I typically do in the late hours to assure I have full access to washers and dryers. While folding all of our clothes, I’ll have my laptop streaming Netflix or Hulu.
We do have a trusty cart that makes life easier. I wonder how often New Yorkers go through these carts because they take a beating. We travel on the subway with this cart (and umbrella if it is going to rain) to the grocery store and when it is full of groceries, we cart them down the subway stairs, onto the busy train and then back on the subway stairs. That’s not usually the hard part. We live on the sixth floor with no elevator. Needless to say, I get my workout for the day every time we have to go grocery shopping or do laundry. Both the groceries and the laundry weigh anywhere from 50-100 pounds. There is no need for a gym while I am lifting this cart while scaling stairs in addition to taking the dogs out twice a day!