Not many people can say they're truly "from" New York. Almost everyone here has moved from another part of the world. But over time, you pick up on things and after about 10 years, you can call yourself a true "New Yorker" (or so they say).
Growing up in Nebraska, it was quite a culture shock when we first came here. After nearly 2 years, I've gotten used to certain things like, traffic, high prices, and rudeness. In fact, when my husband and I took our first taxi ride, our destination was on Houston Street (pronounced hows-ton). Eddie, being from Texas, kept pronouncing it like the city, Houston, TX (Hugh-ston). The cab driver got so frustrated and could not understand what we were saying. Eventually, we figured it out though and made it to the location.
Upon my best friend, Deb's visit this week (also from Nebraska), I'm reminded of just how strange it can be here.
Her first night in town, we took her to the upscale restaurant where I play piano. When she asked the waiter for water to drink, he replied "Tap, sparkling, bottled, or mineral?" The look on her face was priceless. She began to stutter and had no idea how to answer, so Eddie jumped in for her, "Tap."
The next day, she had a hair appointment at a salon in Chelsea. I played for an event there a few weeks ago, and they gave me a gift certificate for a free haircut (normally worth over $100), which I let Deb use. She had trouble hiding her shock when she walked in the front door to be greeted by a 12 foot grand piano in the entry way, and a table of complimentary pastries and mimosas.
I think that was about the time she made a "We're not in Kansas" remark. Nope, we're in New York City.