In reality, Manhattan isn't Sex and the City, Law and Order, Selling New York, the combined works of Woody Allen or even (sigh) HBO's Bored to Death.  New York City is a place where....

  1. Ten percent of your time is spent submitting out-of-network and flex-spending claims because doctors can't afford to work/live here and take insurance. 
  2. A good super or doorman is worth three last-minute summer-weekend car rentals plus one genius hair colorist.
  3. The $500 bucks a month to the garage is just for parking. The $2 each time you take your car out and bring it back buys a 30-50% reduction in dings and scratches. The $200 you give to the daytime manager at Christmas has no discernible effect on anything whatsoever.
  4. People book playdates for their dogs.
  5. You have to schedule a playdate a month in advance with the 8-year-old next door whose bedroom shares a wall with your kid's. 
  6. Schlumps outnumber supermodels 10 to 1, and there are just as many Merrells as Manolos.
  7. People from your hometown will look at you like you are an alien when you try to explain that in addition to those out-of-network claim forms, you spend most of your time trying to get your kid into a decent school, searching for an "affordable" place to live and casing your apartment for bed bugs. Those same hometown friends will be lining up for a spot on your futon every chance they get.
  8. It is safer to talk about politics than Mets versus Yankees.
  9. A high-end maternity-wear sample sale in the garment district is a bloodier sport than boxing.
  10. You will develop a love-hate relationship with taxi cabs:  They stink like soap in a public restroom, the ride is bumpy, but you will feel pure bliss when you spot one on a rainy day--even if you have to disengage your gag reflex and ride nose-to-partition in a claustrophobic hybrid.
  11. Everyone says they read the Times but they devour the Post.
  12. On the private school admissions tour/interview, you are not the one doing the interviewing. You are doing your best Nancy Reagan impression: Smile, nod, freeze, repeat. 
  13. In addition to paying for grocery delivery, you will be expected to tip (and suck up the cost of the broken eggs, because you should have known better).
  14. If a grocery store, dry cleaner, nail salon, bodega, or coffee shop is more than a two-block walk, it just seems too far.
  15. Your children will lag behind their suburban peers when it comes to mastering stairs and two-wheelers, but they will be able to hail a cab at age 3, explain the difference between a co-op and a condo by age 5, and by age 13, compare tutors like other kids compare rock/pop stars. 
  16. You will spend as much time plotting your (occasional) escape from New York as you will thanking God/Allah/Buddah/etc that you don't live anywhere else.

Your turn. 

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9 things not to do to (or in) your apartment this spring



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