Saturday, March 18, 2006

Good-bye to all that, part one

When I am utterly overwhelmed and stressed to the max, I simply cannot fall asleep. In lieu of some Ambien, I've been compiling a mental list of things that I most assuredly will not miss about Manhattan. Of late, these things outweigh the elements I will miss, an occurrence I never could have previously predicted. So here goes; my laundry list of things I will not ever miss about living in this city.

That rancid smell that characterizes and permeates most bodegas and grocery stores—it smells like a horrid combination of burnt ham and fried bacon and it sticks to everything I purchase in the bodega; even to the plastic bags the wares come in. Where is all the pig-frying going on? Who knew that bodegas were such bastions of burning bacon? Or maybe it's actually the stench of rats being incinerated...

The Manhattan once-over. For those who do not know of this female phenomenon, I shall clarify. The Manhattan once-over is a time-honored tribal ritual practiced by Manhattan women of a certain class. The female's eyes travel from your shoes, dart to your handbag, run up the length of your body, stop on the face, taking in the ears and then run back down the length of your body. The duration of the once-over depends on the season. It's shorter in winter, obviously, because all the looker can really discern is your coat, shoes, handbag and maybe earrings. It's more extensive in the warmer climes, when she can fully take in your jewelry, pedicure, manicure, brand of jeans, etc. Think of it as the human, female equivalent of dogs sniffing one another's asses, except a lot less civilized.

The fucking subway. Tonight was my last subway ride ever. Mark my words; and tonight was probably my last time in Brooklyn, the fact that those two events coincided fills me with pride—I had not done either in months.

The "wildlife," which, in my estimation, includes rats, mice, roaches and that crazy crackhead woman who wanders around Fifth Avenue in a garbage bag.

Those signs posted everywhere with the drawing of a big rat and the blaring warning that says "poison" or "rodenticide" or whatever it says. Truth is I get so skeeved out by the rat illustration that I fail to digest what the sign actually says.

Spit and feces on the sidewalks.

Scooping Wally's poop with Gristede's bags and those bags from the bodega that reek of burnt ham. His shit smells better than the ham.

The subway.

Duane Fucking Reade and all the people who work there. Every last uneducated, slow-witted one of them.

Yorkies and their ridiculous sweaters. For that matter, all doggie sweaters/coats/boots. One of the little dogs in my building not only has a Vuitton collar, but an actual shearling coat.

The subway.

Grocery aisles too narrow for two people to pass one another without turning sideways.

Constant construction on every corner block at all hours of the night.

Mediocre, $50+ meals.

The bloodsport that we refer to as "dating."

Having to put on 30 lbs of clothing and accessories just to leave the house in this season.

What the winter does to the poor, delicate skin on my hands.

The subway.

Idiotic doormen and even dumber supers.

Parades for holidays I never even knew existed.

Taking Wally out at 4 a.m. in the bitter cold.

The smell of Chinatown.

The crush of bodies in Times Square.

The list seems to go on and on, so much so that I'm beginning to relate to those country bumpkins who refer to NYC as a concrete jungle and profess their hatred for this city. I certainly don't hate the city, but I certainly don't love it anymore either. I think of it now as most people probably do—a lovely place to visit, not the best place to live.