Category Archives: Fellow strangers

Paris vs New York

Just found this. No actually, my wonderful friend Avinash found it for me. Love it, love it, love it. 3 points for New York and, if I could, another 3 for Paris.

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How to become a happy New Yorker. A success story, part 3

Here’s the third and last part of my conversation with Stephanie (read part 1 and 2 and go to her fabulous blog Biting the Big Apple) where she talks about what she likes about NYC in general and— attention, all uptown expats!—in particular. On top of that, she lets us know where she finds good bread and cheese and gives some good advice for the NYC-newbie. Continue reading

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How to become a happy New Yorker. A success story, part 2

I introduced you to Stephanie last week. Again, I want to praise her blog Biting the Big Apple and herself. I didn’t attribute points last week. That’s a default. Finding Stephanie in the internet, reading her blog and getting in touch with her has helped me a great deal. It gave me the perspective that liking New York might just be a matter of time. That New York might be a city that kicks everybody’s ass at first, in some way or another, (although nobody admits it) and that it’s not just me. Reading Stephanie’s blog is therefore worth more than anything else so far on my Heimweh safari: 8 points.

In the second part of my conversation with her you can read about her first experiences in New York: “American hair”, a broken heart and finally feeling at home. Continue reading

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How to become a happy New Yorker. A success story, part 1

Stephanie is my guiding light. Apart from that, she’s French—yet British in her heart—and she moved to New York three and a half years ago. I discovered her blog Biting the Big Apple a while ago (check it out, it’s great!) and on that blog I found something that made me want to meet her urgently. In a post she wrote about how New York gave her a hard time at the beginning, yet how much it has become her home by now. Well, I thought, that sounds comforting to a homesick European like me. I need to talk to this girl.

I sent her some questions and got an amazing, very long e-mail back. Too long to be posted in one go. Therefore, we decided to make it a series. In sequel 1, read about Stephanie’s moving to New York. Continue reading

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Brooklyn rulez

Katia Kelly made it from Germany to France to, finally, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. In 20 years, she has raised two real Brooklynites, seen a figue tree in her garden grow and die and, since 2006, published a blog called Pardon Me For Asking. She reports on new restaurants in her neighbourhood, shops, new real estate, the debates on Gowanus Canal, her garden and a lot more stuff that you want to know, when you (would like to) live in Carroll Gardens. Apart from all the information bits, she has a web store featuring for instance this nice little shopper. It’s all cotton, measures 15″ x 18″ x 6″ and costs $18. Loving it. One point.

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Shaving cream and Le Corbu

It hits you without warning. I’m sitting on the edge of the tub about to shave my legs when I realize the new can of shaving cream is eerily familiar.

Caitlin Kelly is a former reporter and feature writer for the Globe and Mail, Montreal Gazette and the New York Daily News. She has published a book and has been a regular author for The New York Times since 1990. All of that qualifies her as a successful New Yorker. Yet, time and again, the Canadian-born writer is hit by pangs of homesickness. In her essay Zut Alors! How A Can Of Shaving Cream Made Me Homesick she muses about bilingual labels on every Canadian product and about the fact that Americans seem so reluctant to anything that’s not broad American. I couldn’t agree more.  Hearing them talk about, for example, Le Corbu instead of Le Corbusier (click here for the correct pronounciation) makes my hair stand on end. I have been told that Americans consider it pretentious to strive for the correct pronounciation of foreign names and words. Considering the fact that the US is such a multicultural country, not even giving it a try is, I think, utterly disrespectful. That’s one point off.

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Did you know that…

… 40.6 percent of New York’s inhabitants are not born in the US.  19.2 percent of the New Yorkers come from Latin America, 9.4 percent from Asia and 6.4 percent from Europe. So where ever you come from—you’re not alone!

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