Tuesday, 28 August 2007

From NYC

Hi, ladies! I'm back finally after completing my move from Tokyo to Singapore and then to New York. I arrived in NYC last Thursday, moved into an apartment in West Harlem (which is apparently not as bad as East Harlem) and am still adjusting to life as a student again. After spending 4.5 years in Tokyo, coming to New York was quite a big change. Tokyo has a few million more people than New York but it is so much cleaner and advanced than New York. Taking the subway in NYC is honestly, a torture as it's like bathing in really awful toilet fumes each time. The trains run 24 hours in NYC unlike Tokyo but there is no train schedule or even electronic signboards that post alerts on incoming trains. The announcements are a total mystery. And there are rats. After two days here and a disappointing trip to the Sephora store in Times Square (terrible testers and lots of items out of stock), I was dying to just pack up and go home. I also ventured into Saks 5th Avenue and walked around the cosmetics counters but the SAs just looked so intimidating. It didn't help that most of them also towered over me! I miss Tokyo.... sigh.


Anonymous said...

Dear Haru,

I have been enjoying your blog for several months now, and was amazed at your CP-ing for people!! So kind of you. I was concerned when I read that you were coming to NYC because of the difference in cultures and general adversity that one can experience here. Somehow I thought you'd be taken shopping by some of the people you have been shopping for from Japan.

What I am going to say here may be a little controversial. so maybe you won't want to publish....

The thing about SAs in department stores is that they often work on commission, and it's sort of cut throat. They can behave kind of like dogs who sense fear or whatever, and can maddeningly ignore or pester one--depending on the day. Saks is a hotbed of this sort of thing, and frankly midtown can be one of the least inviting neighbourhoods we have. But if you do go there again, you might try the Sephora that is a block south of Saks--it tends to be better stocked than some others. Also, try Barneys New York, Bendels and Bergdorf Goodman.

I live downtown just above SoHo. There are Space NK, Sephora, MAC, Bloomingdales, and several other good sources within a few blocks. We used to have Madina Milano and Helena Rubenstein when I first moved here, but they both closed in the same week several years ago. It was awful. Also, you might enjoy Ricky's and some of the drugstore brands at Duane Reade.

Do you know about the Mitsuwa mall in New Jersey? There is a shuttle bus from Port Authority:http://www.mitsuwanj.com/en/shuttle_service.htm

And there is the bookstore, Kinokinuya on 49th Street (right near Saks) and Katagiri (they have a grocery store and a sundries--with some cosmetic brands--store) on 59th Street.

A-mused has my email address if you wish to contact me. Please feel free to let me know if I can do anything to help welcome you to New York. I hope that you will find some pleasure in some of what is here.

Very best wishes and welcome.

Rabbit said...

Hey Haru!
Take it easy, it always takes some time to get used to a new city. I'm anyway a bit jelous of you! as you are enjoying to live in great cities (Must say I'd rather Tokyo too, ^-^)
best wishes for you and hope you'll be fine!
Spanish hugs! ^-^

Anonymous said...

Oh Iris I hope you adjust to NYC!

The subways on the east side are much better b/c they are newer trains with air conditioning. You should also check out the more specialty department store like henri bendel, barney's and bergdorf goodman...and go cosmetics shopping in Soho for Sephora, MAC, makeup forever and more.

Koreatown and Chinatown have a few shops where you can buy some Korean MU brands too.

Taryn said...

Iris! I was wondering how you were. I've never been to NYC, and don't think I'll be going there anytime soon. Toilet-scented trains don't exactly sound appealing.

If you ever tire of NYC, check out the University at Buffalo. It's a first-class school *and* we have a new Sephora! :-P

Take care and I'm looking forward to reading your blog again!

Unknown said...

hi iris, how long is the journey from sg to nyc? any transit? hope everything is going smooth for ya. i reckon it takes awhile to adapt to a totally different city. wish ya all e best!!!! :)

~raspy~ said...

yikes! NY sounds horrible! but hope that you can get used to NY soon! study hard but don't forget to "create" lemmings too!

Anonymous said...

hi gal, it's just a transition period, after u've get used to it, you can enjoy more. there will sure be more stuff out in the NYC for you to explore and have fun! take care~ :)

the Muse said...

dearest friend!

I'm so sorry that New York is such a culture shock :(

I've lived here my entire life and I must say I agree with everything you have said!

The subway is forever a mystery to anyone that is not a native! The smell is obscene to say the least and yes it's true there are rats!

Sephora on Herald is a bit better than Times Square! We have TONS of Sephoras everywhere however I must admit that some are gross with the testers :-( and I find that Times Square never has exactly what I want especially Givenchy items which sell out so fast!

The SA's in Saks, Macy's and generally any department store within Manhattan always intimidate me! I get downright scared to death of 'em!

Hopefully it'll be a bit better as time goes by!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Hey, all the best in NY. I think it always takes a while to adjust to a new place, so do give NYC a chance. Lotsa lovely food and culture there! :)

But remember the crime! Don't be lulled into complacency 'cos NY is very different from Tokyo and SG!

Anonymous said...

((hugs)) You'll be going back to Tokyo right?At least you can take advantage of the GWPs :-)

Anonymous said...

I understand how you feel about the change from tokyo to USA. I had a similar feeling like you did when I was returning back from my trip to Tokyo. Their way of life is so easily adaptable. I hope you would cope well in USA and it's great hearing from you!
Michelle aka stilafaux

Anonymous said...

Hi Iris! :) U're in NYC already? Must be a big move! The subway sounds messy with no schedules and signboards. Are there rats everywhere?! You must feel disappointed with the range of cosmetics!

I'm sure u will be able to adapt soon. Cheers babe!

Unknown said...

welcome to nyc! i love reading your blog.. makes me want to go back to japan and go on a mu spree!

- applepark (mua)

Haru said...

hi everyone, thanks for all your kind comments! I'm still adjusting and I'm sure I'll get over my homesickness soon. I know everyone says that NYC is really great and exciting and I'll definitely try to make the most of my time here. Guess it's just coming from Tokyo, it was really a huge change! Thanks for all the great tips on places to see and shop in NYC! I'll keep my blog updated with my "adventures"!

Joseph said...

Chin up honey. You'll get used to it. You can start by practicing the phrase "Look lady, we're ALL in a hurry" until you're comfortable with saying it and within no time you'll be elbowing old ladies out of the way to get a cab on a rainy night.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to NYC Iris~!

I've been to both Tokyo and Singapore on trips, and I must say, it's a shame that people think Manhattan is the capital of the world, when we are so far behind in areas such as public transportation and sanitation.

It takes time to adjust and New Yorker attitude will definitely get on your nerves sometimes, but I believe it will all be better in a month or two.

As far as the SAKS on 5th Ave, stay away from that place filed with SAs from Hell. Even from when I first enter the store, I can see their horns coming out. I only go there because they have GA there, but apparently none of them wants my money, because they won't give me the time of the day to try stuff on me.

Downtown stores are much better. If not, NJ has some really good malls too. Just a bus ride away. I live about 5 mins from Mitsuwa, the Japanese market. It's really close to NYC and they have some what authentic Japanese food there. Oh! Japanese magazines and some drug store brands, but all very overpriced.

Love your webiste and hope to see more of your updates. =)

Anonymous said...

Dear Iris,

Glad to see new posts on your blog, which also means u had safely reached NYC and had more or less settled down. This is great. :) But don't feel that way... I am sure u'll get used to NYC soon. It's just another metropolitan.

ハル,がんばってくださいね! q(^o^)p

Anonymous said...

Dearest Haru, please hang in there! The SAs at big department stores such as Saks, NM or Barneys can be quite intimidating. But if you overcome that barrier and you may get to know some great SAs. When I first moved here, I did not dare walk into NM at all! But I was experiencing HORRIBLE service at the cosmetics counter at Macys so I decided to venture to NM. Afterall, same prices :P I am glad I did because I got to know some great SAs who were generous with freebies and samples and who kept me in the loop about promotions and new releases. It took awhile for me to adjust to living in this country. I am a city gal and it's rather suburban here .... We take alot of things for granted so it makes me appreciate Sg even more. It took me awhile before I was OK :) Do take care. *HUGS*

cewek said...

Hi Iris,

Meta here, and all I want to say is chin up my dear! I've experienced those things to going from Adelaide (little old country 'city' here in Australia) to London and back again to Adelaide.

So yeah I've experienced the culture shock going from a little place to a big place and then back again to a little place. It took me a year to get over it in each case. But I'm sure you'll take less time than me!

I agree with some of the posters here regarding the SAs just remember it's never personal and they're just after your money! Hahahaha...but seriously, the sooner you get used to it and ride with it (use them as they'd use you!), the better off you'd be :) As for the snooty ones, just remember at the end of the day they're just SAs and as much as b*tchy this sounds, you're or you've prolly earn more than them so therefore give the attitude back to them as much as they give it to you!

All the best my sweet and enjoy NYC!!

Meta xxx

Postpet2 said...

Hey Iris,

I fully understand how difficult it is to adjust from a county like Japan to something so different like NYC. Was at NYC last year end and I did not have a fantastic experience as well.

But, take it as a life experience trip. That should be one of the reason why you had left Singapore, go work in Japan and now study in NYC right....you had chances which some of us do not have in living abroad. So enjoy it!
You will find yourself adjusted very soon and find an ok side to NYC...
its near to New Jersey and you can take a bus to the Premium Factory Outlet where you have your CCO!

Hear from you and your life in NYC.

postpet aka evelyn