Culture Shock on a Visit to the Big Apple (New York City)
My first trip to New York City (NYC) was for New Year’s Eve. And I loved it. So much so, that I decided to return with my 6-year-old in the summer.
Why would anyone want to visit NYC with a 6-year-old!?
The inspiration to return with my son came after an epic ride on the subway. I really wanted him to experience the cultural differences and diversity of this remarkable city. During those few minutes on the subway, I was fully immersed with people of so many different skin colors. Listening to half a dozen different languages and even more unique accents inspired me.
Living in Portland, Oregon, more than 95% of the people are of Anglo descent and English-speaking. So I felt there was a need to expose my little son to a broader spectrum of people, culture, and languages.
Vibrant cultural diversity is not the only thing that makes NYC different than Oregon. Here are a few other things I noticed:
- Recycling and garbage pick up. Portland has mandatory recycling, composting, and a ban on plastic shopping bags. Garbage pick up is every other week. I’m unsure what the rules are in NYC. But a lack of alleyways means trash bags are placed out on the curb and magically disappear in the middle of the night.
- The Subway! We have a good system in Portland, but NYC has an excellent subway system. It’s open most of the time. Goes everywhere. And for $2.75 you can get from one side of the city to the most obscure location on the other side of town.
- Free activities. Walk the High Line Park, go to the library, and ride the subway or the circle line. All of these are free or reasonably priced.
(Check out this art along the High Line Park included un graffiti art. This is not spray-paint but a metal sculpture meant to look like spray-paint.)
- Cheap food. Food is not expensive in NYC, nor it does not have to be. I picked up a breakfast bagel, custom made with sausage, egg, and cheese with a fresh OJ for $5.
- Thousands of markets and every imaginable store possible. Every corner has a mini store with everything you need. The stores are packed head-to-toe in every corner. No big box stores here!
You will find a market on every corner in New York.
- NYC has everything a city can offer. Hardware stores, nail salons, hardwood floors, libraries, museums, an activities-filled nightlife and a lot more. The old adage is definitely true: If you can’t find it here, you probably don’t need it.
The greatest thing I like about this big thriving metropolis is that its nickname is the Big Apple. Have you ever wondered why it was called the Big Apple?
New York City is known as the Big Apple—but not because it finds itself in a state famous for its apple harvest. The name was first popularized by a New York City reporter, John Fitzgerald, who heard some African-Americans refer to New York as the Big Apple. To this day, no one knows when and how they started calling it that.
But it really doesn’t matter anymore, does it? Especially for those of us who are proud to demonstrate our love for the city. That’s why I created the New York City Heart Sticker. Check out the big juicy apple heart! And spread the love!