New York – Wot I learned

Last week marked my second ever trip to the USA, and my eagerly anticipated New York début. My little brother has just moved out there, so in true older Sister style I jumped on a plane out there to cramp his style as soon as I got the chance.

Here’s a fun list – since we all love lists rather than essays of long prose right? Of some things I learned about New York and those that populate it – the food, restaurants and some general observations….

  • New Yorkers hardly cook at home, blaming small kitchens and they dine or get ‘take-out’ a lot.
  • Supermarket (Grocery store) food is expensive and Whole Foods is essentially the same as in the UK, Just bigger with more brands selling the same products.
  • We are more blessed than I realised to have so much imported stuff available to us in London.
  • Dairy free doesn’t necessarily mean a healthier option (the choice of sugar filled coconut & almond milks, yoghurt and kefirs was astonishing),
  • That actually the UK does pretty well with gluten-free baked goods in comparison and for a small country we do just as well if not better – yay us!
  • Almost everyone travelling on the subway, or walking on the street can’t do so without clutching a super-sized Starbucks or iced coffee. Not impossible to believe since there is a Starbucks on every street corner.
  • Ordering a vanilla coffee doesn’t mean its a vanilla infused coffee blend, but a coffee with a shot of sugary vanilla syrup (oops).
  • Half and half is a mix of cream with milk to pour on your cwaffee
  • Argula is rocket, zucchini is courgette, cilantro is coriander, egg plant is aubergine,  and mesclun is a mix of green salad leaves (not sure what we call it!)
  • The types of eggs to buy are confusing. Not just cage, free-range or organic. There are about 4 categories in between involving words like barn reared and pasture-raised.
  • Grass-fed meat is a buzz word on more menus than in the UK.

Grass Fed

  • It is possible to buy about 3 litres of an orange sticky drink along with a 3,000 calorie slice of pizza (I didn’t do this by the way – just an observation) 24hrs of the day.
  • ‘Farm to Table’ is a really cool term to describe the movement for Organic, local and sustainably sourced food.
  • Canola oil is in everything. It even made the houmous taste strange.
  • Contrary to my expectations that Paleo is MASSIVE in the US I didn’t hear or see the word mentioned once.
  • I’m still not sure what taro fries are.
  • Or how sunbutter is different to our sunflower seed butter (it doesn’t look or taste the same)
  • Americans do know how to make good quality dark chocolate. It’s not just all about the Hershey bar.  Mast brothers is a good shout.

Mast Brothers

  • No large supermarkets equivalent to our Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose etc seem to exist in Manhattan.
  • There are lots of Organic food stores in Manhattan.
  • There are juice bars everywhere.
  • Natural SLS and paraben free beauty products are easy to get hold of (in said organic stores and Whole Foods – I love my new Nature’s Gate Shampoo and toothpaste)
  • You will walk a lot in New York – just as well given the food choices!
  • You will miss the horizon.
  • It is impossible not to sing “Uptown Girl” (Billy Joel / Westlife version – your choice) or “Downtown” (Petula Clark) every time you attempt to find your direction on the subway.
  • That “Empire State of Mind” doesn’t blast out of the atmosphere when you emerge from the subway.
  • That the London Underground is pretty amazing and regular in comparison, actually.
  • That Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks, are just like our department stores.  Not even bigger or better (LOVE Selfridges)
  • Lululemon is cheaper in USA, but still hideously overpriced (that said I do have a lovely new top for the gym)
  • …and finally that everyone thinks my name is Carrie. That I can live with!

Carrie or Ceri

Have a nice day now!


4 thoughts on “New York – Wot I learned

  1. MD Smith

    Ha! Nice list! Note that New Yorkers don’t cook at home because they don’t want to clean up after themselves – refer to the trash everywhere you look for confirmation. Also, New York men seem to think it is just fine to spit on the sidewalk.


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