“Americans mistake comfort for happiness”

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I moved to: New York, 9 months ago.

Before that I lived in: Ukraine (born there), grew up in Israel, lived in China for a year and currently established in USA. My next destination is Mexico, following my husband’s job. I guess you can call me a “serial expat and immigrant”.

The language issue: Lucky for me I learnt English since the 4th grade, so language has not been a barrier.

Since I moved here I stopped doing: a lot of things. My move here was literally an end of a chapter in my life; I had to leave everything behind, including my job, family, friends, and most of my stuff… I stopped doing Yoga, which was part of my routine in Israel, so everything changed for me.

Since I moved here the new thing I stared doing is: re-inventing myself, starting fresh. I guess here I have more time to develop ideas that were put aside.  I also discovered my handy / creative side… I’ve started to make head accessories, planning to open an “Etsy”  store, who knows maybe this will lead to a complete carrier change 🙂

Clinton st. backing and co.

Clinton st. backing and co.

Some weird habits at the locals: NY is such a mix, that there is not such a thing as weird habits! It’s very similar to Tel Aviv, but the pace of the city makes you more individualistic. I guess people come to the city to get there things done, sans bullshit, if you can call it weird… In China on the other hand, was a completely different experience, spitting on the floor of the restaurants, smoking everywhere, doing their business on the side of the roads…there are so many unique and strange local habits…I wouldn’t be the first to write a whole book about it 🙂

My biggest cultural shock was: the orientation towards consuming and individualistic attitudes of the people (conception of space and propriety)… It’s all about individual achievements, ambitions and also a comfort created by having achieved these goals. To summarize in a quote, “Americans mistake comfort for happiness”.  The sense of community is not very strong, it’s tough and it’s a struggle but people feel blessed because they get to live in the center of the world.

What I miss the most from home is: apart from my family and friends which are integral in my life, I really miss the food, the comfort of getting everywhere in 20 min, walking around without getting tired, the beach, and the sense of spirituality that Israel has…

Home sick: Well…. I get homesick all the time, almost every day … I miss it mostly now, when its winter and snowing outside…. I guess winter makes you nostalgic…

Going back home: I’m planning my first trip back home in a couple of months which will be exactly a year since I left. In the future I would like to come back at least once in 6 months…

I keep in contact with my friends and family: Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapshot, just name it… 🙂 With today’s technology keeping contact with the people you love is so easy.

My favorite dish/local food is: cupcakes! NYC has amazing variety of restaurants for all kind of ethnic food, but if local I would probably be the cupcake. I have a “sweet tooth” 🙂

Brooklyn Museum

Exhibition in Brooklyn Museum – my favorite museum

My favorite places in town are: My list will be long, since there so many places all over the city and Brooklyn that I like, but if I’ll have to choose….

For brunch:

Clinton st. backing and co.  –  although the place is always packed with people, and the waiting can be long (about an hour average, and they don’t take reservations) this place is worth every second of waiting, serving one of the  best breakfast/ brunch in town… fresh ingredients, amazing coffee and the best pancakes you will ever try! I recommend to come very hungry…and if you have no time to wait just grab a coffee with fresh backed scone to go… the place located in one of my favorite arias in the city, the lower east side.

For casual snacks or coffee stop in the middle of a shopping day at “Caffe Gitane” in Nolita.

For dinner + drinks:

Ippudu – with 2 locations in lower east and upper west, this place is a great combination of a bar and quality Raman place…. Always packed with no option to reserve in advance, great crowd, amazing cocktails! The Hirata buns – not to be missed!

Little taste of home, my favorite Israeli place:  “Zizi Limona”, Williamsburg.

If you are struck with nostalgic crave for fine Israeli, this is the place to go, former Sous Chef of the “Mizlala” brings the best of Israeli and Mediterranean to your plate, wrapped in “American friendly” package 🙂

For Art, Brooklyn Museum. I feel many people do not pay attention and bother to visit this amazing museum, that has not only one of the biggest art collections in the country, but also great temporary exhibitions of the finest artist in the world. Lately, the museum’s new agenda is to gather all the Brooklyn artists under one roof (and there are bunch of them in Brooklyn), which in my opinion is a great and interesting tribute. 

Last but not least my absolutely favorite Cupcake place (and believe me, I tried them all) : Molly’s Cupcakes is the Yammmm!

Molly's Cupcakes. My absolutely favorite cupcake place.

Molly’s Cupcakes. My absolutely favorite cupcake place.

I get around the city by: metro, cabs, also I walk a lot. Getting around is pretty easy, especially in Manhattan.

Clinton st. backing and co.

Clinton st. backing and co.

Street fashion: NYC is very eclectic and that is also expressed in the street fashion… you can see anything from Indi – Punk to High fashion top brands , depending on the aria of the city… also a lot of mix styles .. But alongside the diversity the New Yorkers are both trendsetters and trend followers. Now for example, you get lost between “Parka coats” and “Bobble hats” everybody seems to be wearing them…. It’s easy to be dressed well and set trends when you live in the capital of shopping and fashion…

My view on people: It’s generally harder to make friends, considering the age and the fact that the city is very individualistic. Plus everything is so well planned and everybody is always busy! However, still people are friendly and I made quite a few new friends here.

Being an expat: You just feel you naturally belong. All here are Immigrants, expats, speak different languages, have accents, mix cultures… NYC is really unique place in that matter.

In 5 years, I see myself living in: Europe. I always wanted to go back to Europe.  I like the lifestyle and the food culture … but we will see… you never know where the wind will blow us next…!

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