[Rebog:] I Heart NY: What STL Can Learn from the Big Apple

Note: This post originally appeared on Girls Guide to the Galaxy. The site has since gone under, and I'm not sure how much longer these posts will still exist. But they were good. And I don't want to loose them. To see the original, click here

I never had any intention or desire to live in New York, much less visit it (despite being in a contest that would have required me to do so…). I just didn’t get the allure. It’s big. It’s dirty. It’s expensive. The people are crabby. It gets really cold. There is concrete everywhere. Why would anyone ever want to live in or visit a place like that? Putting it simply, I [did not] ‘heart’ NY.
And then I went there.
And I realized the city isn’t so bad. Okay, okay, it is actually pretty wonderful.
Don’t get me wrong, I love St. Louis. I am not just settling here or stuck here, I’m staying here. I want to see this city grow; I want to see the Archgrounds get a makeover; I want to eat toasted raviolis til the day I die. That being said, I think there’s a thing or two that St. Louis can learn from The Big Apple…
Let Your Hair Down
I’ve always said that my hair thinks it is living in the 70s, but now I’ve determined that it just thinks it is living in New York. Girls Women in NYC do not have perfectly teased and styled coiffes. They have normal, natural hair. It’s straight; it’s curly; it’s sort of wavy (like mine); but it is not uber-manipulated (like many Missourians think it should be). Oh, and when it is hot, girls women just throw their hair up in buns and ponytails. They aren’t perfect. They aren’t tidy. They are convenient.
My hair is practically unmanageable. I hate blow drying it. I’m no good at ‘updos’. They way my hair turns out, I end up looking lazy or messy. Let’s take a cue from these NYC ladies and just let our hair be.
Walk it Off
Part of the allure  of NYC (for me), is that people are out walking everywhere. I’ll admit, here in St. Louis, I drive. I do not take the Metrolink or ride my bike or walk to the store (shame on me, I know). However, I have friends (you know who you are) who live and play in walking-friendly areas like Soulard that roll their eyes at me when I suggest we walk to a local restaurant or bar or market.
Granted, I know we have better driving (and parking) conditions than NYC, but walking is sometimes fun. I bet if we all walked around our city more, we would (1) cut down on gas and pollution and all that jazz, (2) burn some calories, even if we are headed to a bar to drink them back up and (3) our great city would look a little more lively.
Happy Hour
Something absolutely magical happened to me during my week in NYC: I experienced a real happy hour. Picture this: a pub-esque bar packed with twenty-somethings dressed in their best business casual-wear drinking $3 Bud Lights (which is a good price for NYC, no?)… at 8pm. They had mostly all been there since breaking free of the shackles of their desks at 6pm, joining together to enjoy friends, brews and free popcorn. St. Louis, can we make this happen?
Also note, I got there at 8pm and was still paying happy hour prices. St. Louis, can we make that happen too?
Go it Alone
I like my friends, really I do, but sometimes I really don’t mind grabbing a bite to eat or going shopping or taking a walk by myself. The problem is, here in the Gateway city, when you show up somewhere alone, people look at you funny.
“What is wrong with that girl that she is sitting here, alone, eating brunch. How sad.”
There is nothing wrong with me. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with me. (Wow, that’s fun to say..) In NYC, people do tons of things all by their lonesome. They eat dinner. They go shopping. They ride the subway. Companionship is nice, and necessary, according to Maslow, but sometimes it’s okay to be alone.
What the French?
On my list of food/drinks I eat too much of appreciate: coffee, bread, cheese, wine… So why aren’t their more little cafes in St. Louis? I don’t want Starbucks or Panera. I don’t want over-priced, uber-expensive wine bars. I just want an iced coffee and muffin in the morning and a glass of wine and assorted cheese plate at night. Is that too much to ask?
On Broadway
While I was in New York, I was lucky (and smart) enough to splurge on a ticket to go see Promises Promises on Broadway (it was fantastic, by the way). As I was sitting there, enjoying this fantastic musical, I said to myself, ‘If I lived in NYC, with all these fantastic shows available to me, I would go to the theater all the time!’
You know when the last time I was at the Fox was? Me neither.
Granted, I’m a lover of musical theater. I have season tickets to the Muny. I mooch off my parents’ season tickets to Stages in Kirkwood when I can. I’ve been to a handful of shows at the Fox and the St. Louis Repertory Theater. But what am I waiting for? This coming season, St. Louis is welcoming shows likeShrekBilly Elliot, State Fair and Romeo and Juliet (among many many others). I’m making a vow (and you should too) to go to more of these shows…. at least I can pretend I’m on Broadway, right?
Hug a Tree
If there was one thing I missed while I was in New York, it was nature. Grass, trees, the sky, stars. They call it the ‘concrete jungle’ for a reason. But on the flip-side, it makes people appreciate places like Bryant Park and Central Park all the more. These little green patches in the city are treated like treasures. Ours? Just overlooked.
A few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday morning taking a stroll through Tower Grove and it was seriously fun (Bonus points: Walking and Nature! Win!). I can almost guarantee that no matter where you live in St. Louis, there is a park nearby. Grab a friend, a blanket, (a bottle of wine, perhaps?) and go there.

No comments:

Looking for something?