Not too long ago I talked to you all about Juice Cleanses and some of you were were not too happy.
“Garance, it’s not good for you!”
“Don’t give in to the get-thin pressure!”

Your reactions cracked me up – first because you’re totally right, but also because they got me thinking… Of course, I should’ve known you would react. Me too, a few years ago, I considered juice cleanses as a joke.

Yeah yeah… Okay. But now I live in New York.

New York – A wild and exciting city and so sure of herself that there is no way she would consider (She, New York – we use the feminine for cities in France) that her culture and practices are not approved and implemented all over the world.

So what happens when you get to settle there is you start finding that some things are really bizarre.

And then little by little, you adapt. Some things take longer than others, but still, in the end, you adapt.

Then the day comes when you are wondering how you lived your life before…

So here’s a little guide to how long it takes to become a true New York alien.

Eat like a koala = 2 years

Have you ever had lunch with I dunno, four New Yorkers?
You can be sure that at least one of them is gluten free, another is dairy free, and the third is vegetarian (Soooo common it’s boring!) or drinks ONLY green tea. And there you are, all European and all, ordering a nice juicy steak.

Suddenly you feel like you just did the naughtiest thing of your entire life.

You can imagine in that kind of environment, if you were to announce that you were trying a juice cleanse for a day or two, no one would blink an eye.
It’s totally normal. Everyone does it and everyone talks about it.

Get this though, everyone gets colonics (yes, you read that right and yes, I’m talking about that). And then they tell you about them at length with great detail.
Ew, gross ?
Not on planet New York…

Get a dog and call him “my son” = 4 years.

In New York, people work like crazy. Seriously, they never sleep. It’s not just a saying.
Here, there’s no lunch break, almost zero vacation time, and you never get to leave work early.
It wouldn’t be surprising to leave the office at 8:00 and head to a work dinner. So yeah, you work like a dog.

With so little time for living, could someone please explain to me why EVERY SINGLE New Yorker has a dog? I don’t get it.
It’s totally normal here to have a dog even if you don’t have time to take care of it or let it out.

Cause everything is set up for you and your dog so you can live a guilt-free life.

There are dog parks, dog meetup groups, and of course, OF COURSE, dog walkers. THERE’S EVEN DOGGY DAYCARE.
So if your dog is feeling lonely, he can spend his day playing with other dogs. How nice. Dogs are social creatures, after all.

Heading off on vacation to somewhere they don’t allow dogs?

No problem. Put your dog in a dog hotel. It’s just as expensive as a human hotel, but the dog will be allowed to socialize to his heart’s content and be in great shape when you get back to New York* – to get back to working 24/7.

I just don’t get it.

I say all this, but I’m a year or two in and I’m already starting to get my little doggy pains. This will end up like all the rest of these, I fear… I’ll end up having a dog and loving every second of it.

* Maybe they even do doggy juice cleanses?

Talking about horoscopes as if they’re an exact science = 1 year.

I know…
You read your horoscope out of the corner of your eye.
It’s even better if you read it hidden a little, almost like it’s forbidden or you’re not supposed to see it or something.

Ok. But not in New York.
In New York, it’s all out there. What’s shameful is to NOT respect people who believe in horoscopes. In New York, horoscopes are serious business.
If you start talking about your horoscope, everyone stops and gives you their utmost attention and then tells you their favorite astrologist.

After a few years, this astrological brain washing makes you think it’s totally normal to pinpoint someone by their sign.
And totally weird if someone doesn’t know his rising sign.

Sweating every single morning of the week from 6 to 7 and adore it = 5 years.

We’ve talked about the obsession in New York with working out, but have we talked about all the hoopla for Soul Cycle?

What’s with this room almost in total darkness with strobe lights bouncing off the walls and music bursting your eardrums while the teacher tries to motivate you by yelling into her headset microphone (all while sweating right there with you)?

And you’re supposed to pedal your legs off the whole time?

It kinda sounds like a nightmare to me.

But a ton of my friends are addicted to it.
Give me three years (realizing that here, a new sport will be all the rage, and I’ll just be starting with spin.)

Wonder what it was like to be gay in the past = 3 months.

Ah, it’s so easy to be gay in New York that you forget that in most places on earth, discretion still has to be used, like being careful not to hold hands in the street, or kiss, or get married, or take your kids for a walk in the park.

Wonder who the idiot was that invented kitchens, that thing that is never used for anything and takes up too much space in the apartment = 1 year.

It’s so easy to just eat take out in New York that cooking has become a lost art.
And grocery shopping is almost more expensive than going out to a restaurant.
And everyone works so much that let’s say you try to go grocery shopping, unless you’re super extra organized 90% of what you bought will die in you fridge.
And then you just get rid of the whole idea of at-home meal altogether.
And then the kitchen becomes a curiosity on your appartement.

Result: The last time I made apple sauce for the studio, everyone fell all over themselves. Get this : I cut the apples!!! I cooked them!!! I CUT UP A VANILLA BEAN AND PUT IT INSIDE!!!
Doesn’t get any crazier than that.

That’s all I got for now! I should let you go. It’s time for me to call and order my dinner. But before heading out, I have to tell you what I love most about New York, the only thing I’d love to see everywhere else:

New York is really a place where you can be who you are. Create your own style of life and no one judges you. You’ll be encouraged… I love it. I love it. I love it.

All that said, from time to time, I’m so lucky to have you all to keep my feet rooted on the earth. Juice Cleanse?
Maybe not for me…

Translation : Tim Sullivan