All the product trends, words, and nuances I’ve noticed, translated to what I’m used to back in Oregon
New York Convenience Store:
Bodega – A Spanish word that refers to a convenience store specializing in Hispanic Groceries or in New York, any convenience store. A word that combines grocery, supermarket and convenience store all-into-one.
Oregon Translation: Sevies (7-11), AM/PM or any gas station that happens to be open within a 2 block radius.
New York Realtors:
Brokers – Intermediary between buyer and seller. An almost absolutely necessary first point of contact when you move to New York and need somewhere to live. Basically the guy you have to pay WAY too much money to just so you can look at an apartment.
Oregon Translation: A foreign profession I’d never heard of until I got here, the concept of a broker (aka scammer) would make any Oregonian wonder why we need to pay someone thousands of dollars to do something we can do ourselves? I found my own apartment all four years of college without paying someone to do the minimal legwork. I’m pretty sure I’m capable of unlocking a door and signing a lease on my own. If only there weren’t the middle man…
New York Living:
Apartment or Studio – Located in downtown Manhattan
Oregon Translation: Your dorm room you had on campus, but the going rent listed for 3x as much as you’d pay for a room in a house.
(I’m still not over how much I pay for rent…)
New York Cookies:
Black and white cookies – Soft cake-like shortbread iced with vanilla and chocolate fondant on either half
Oregon Translation: Originally? Back & white cookies = Oreos for me. I’d never seen them until I moved here, but they are absolutely delicious.
New York State-Specific Dessert Obsession:
Cupcakes & Cupcake Shops – These miniature frosted cakes are hugely popular in the city and naturally there are shops purely devoted to the art of baking cupcakes (Crumbs, Magnolia and Butterlane to name a few).
Oregon Translation: Voodoo Donuts (pictured) a classic Portland staple known for its strange flavor combinations has now expanded to three 24-7 locations throughout Oregon. (You may have seen it featured on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’) The maple-bacon bar is a personal favorite, but check out the whole menu here. Can’t decide? Order a voodoo dozen and have the staff pick for you.
New York: Coffee of Choice (That isn’t Starbucks)
Dunkin Donuts – These are all over the city, in airports and served in restaurants, border lining on the prevalence of Starbucks.
Oregon Translation: Growing up, there was always a negative stigma towards the Dunkin Donuts brand; it wasn’t associated with quality coffee. Either that or us Northwesterners are too stuck on Stumptown (my favorite) and Allen Brothers (and more commonly known franchises) or the local/organic varieties in smaller coffee shops on nearly every corner. The show “Portlandia” was completely spot.on. in that regard.
New York Drink You Can Find In Every Store:
Coconut Water – Plain, mango, berry or chocolate, this was definitely an ironically unexpected staple I did not expect to find in New York. I’d always heard about coconut water and its super-hydrating abilities (i.e. the miracle hangover cure), but it was always suggested by my more ‘free spirited’ hippie friends. Definitely Oregonians to the core. Seeing them sold everywhere in New York made me laugh at first, but now I’m just as obsessed.