New York vs Lithuania or Europe

On July 2016, I was assigned to to a business trip to New York City, USA and I found the place quite interesting, I had hundreds of cultural shocks per minute and couldn’t avoid comparing everything with Lithuania or other European countries.

NYC = New York City
VNO = Vilnius

Supermarkets

artisan bread

U$ 1,99 french baguette

There is nothing compared with Hyper Rimi, Maxima XXX or big Iki. There are food markets named Trader’s Joe, Whole Foods Market, Union Markets and one semi-supermartket named Target but everything was three times more expensive and sometimes the quality was not so good. A French baguette costs U$ 2,00 but it is not as tasty as the € 0,35 French baguette from Iki. I lost so much weight that my underwear don’t fit me anymore.

NYC pro tip: buy everything you can in cheap places like Target; buy vegetables in Whole Foods, the rest at Trader’s Joe, and avoid Union Market. 
VNO pro tip: I like bread, chicken and Belgian beers from Iki, vegetables and beef from Maxima, raviolis and house stuffs from Rimi, Crossain with almond from Lidl, coffee mugs from Prisma and I´ve never been at Norfa XL

 

Green spaces

2016-07-03 18.20.41

Most of streets in Manhattan have no trees. Many blocks are just like this: buildings, sidewalks and street

There are so many buildings next to each other in Manhattan (borough of New York City) and almost zero green areas between them. Everything was grey and trees look like they were growing from the asphalt. It was so refreshing coming back to Vilnius and see so many green places with many trees. New York has many parks, but they don’t feel real because there is so many noise and pollution around.

NYC Pro tip: Brooklyn parks are really cool and less noisy.
VNO Pro tip: Vingio parkas is really really really cool. You can rent bikes, practice sports and drink beer

 

People everywhere

2016-07-03 18.36.20

Time Square people traffic

There are so many people walking in Manhattan that you feel insignificant but it is nice to see so many shiny happy people moving around. It feels like Vilnius gatve but with 100 times more humans moving around. I was missing this feeling because I am an energetic Latin American, but sometimes I need the calm and serenity of the White Bridge.

NYC Pro tip: Avoid walking the streets nearby Time Square after midnight. A lot of drunk people and girls trying to choke one another. 

VNO pro tip: If you want to see people, go out at a really sunny and warm day. Make sure you bring a coat because it gets windy and cold at night anytime of the year. 

 

Starbucks vs Vero Caif Coffee Inn

For much that I enjoy my frappes while trying to understand the random images on Coffee Inn walls, I prefer the darkness and mystery of Starbucks. Something that shocked me was to find a Starbucks every three blocks in Manhattan. Holy caffeine!
NYC Pro tip: If you need Wi-Fi, look for starbucks, the connection is really really really stable.
VNO Pro tip: The frappes from each coffee place has a different taste. If you don’t like drinks from one place, put it in your blacklist but make sure you taste coffee from other place. 

 

Burgers

Boom

Boom burger in Vilnius

Probably one of my biggest surprises: burgers in New York are not as good as in Vilnius. Americans who visit Lithuania get impressed with the quality of food and specially burgers. Drama Burger, Boom burgers, Indie Bar, Meat Lover pub are all popular places in Lithuania and I even heard that some of them are opening stores in USA.

NYC Pro tipDrinks are huuuuuge but burgers are smaaaaall. Try to check what people are eating before entering any restaurant. 

VNO pro tip: Drama burger has small but really juicy burgers so order beer and something exotic like fried broccoli.  Boom burgers is usually full so try to reserve or arrive mentally prepared to wait in line. 

Museums

2016-07-24 13.49.12

This Van Gogh took my breath away. The details are so amazing!!

New York invested a lot of money in art and there is no match for those amazing Van Goghs. I visited the MET museum but I think that the MoMA has better paintings.

NYC Pro tip: You can pay whatever you want to enter some museums. One of my friend paid $ 1,00 and everything went alright. Museums get a lot of private company money, so don´t feel so bad

VNO pro tip: The money museum and the genocide museum are really interesting

 

 

Beers

2016-07-09 12.39.05

Time Square people traffic

European beers are light years better than anything you can find in other continents, but I found interesting how many IPA and Belgium inspired beers you can find in supermarkets. There are a lot of crazy beers with strange flavored, but I still prefer a Šviturys or a Belgium Leffe or Duvel.

NYC Pro tip: Buy Belgian beers. Leffe Blond at Whole Foods has the same price as in Europe. 

VNO pro tip: Wheat beer are something new for me, try Svyturys Baltas. Ungurio Kojos is my favortie Lithuanian beer (try it at Republic bar groud floor), I personally detest Kalnapilis, you can find Belgian beers at Iki. 

Amusement parks and fun

I had no idea Coney Island was so cool. I would have never had expected to see an actual Brazilian style beach side by side. Also a crazy hot dog event is held in there every year and I must admit that the hotdog with lemonade was really tasty. Unfortunately I cannot find anything similar in Vilnius, Palanga, Nida nor Klaipeda.
NYC Pro tip: Use sunscreen, there are no shadows, do not wear long pants, one Brazilian girl that was with us almost fainted and had to buy some shorts. Bring swimsuit and towel just in case, I really wanted to jump on the water. 
VNO Pro tip: there is a fake beach named Žirmūnų paplūdimys. Go to the city Palanga if you are young, go to Nida if you want to relax.  
Coney Island

Coney Island: Roller coasters, beach and hot dogs

 

Public transport

Subway HelveticaMy friends and I found the subway quite confusing during our first days in New York. Also the subway is very hot and dirty if we compare with Madrid. But the coolest stuff about the metro is everything written in Helvetica fonts.
NYC Pro tip: Make sure you are in the correct side of the street before entering the platform. Many times me and my friends got into the wrong side. You have to know where you are and the regions of New York (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn) in order to know the direction of the train. Usually:
Downtown = Brooklyn
Uptown = Bronx, Queens
VNO pro tip: Buy the bus card “Vilniečio kortelė” and charge it, it is 40% cheaper than buying the ticket with he bus driver. 

 

Laundry WTF

seinfeld laundry

Seinfeld “pilot” episode criticizes the boredom at a laundromat

The are so many self service laundries (laundromat) in New York because some apartments do not support the machines, WTF? I heard that is something related to the water pressure. This is quite uncomfortable and a waste of time to walk around the streets with your dirty clothes. It takes one hours to wash and dry everything but at least I could read some books but I would prefer to do it at home. You can easily find one laundromat in every block at residential areas. Most probably a Starbucks nearby as well 🙂

NYC Pro tip: Laundromats sell washing powder for ~ U$ 1,00 and the machine costs U$ 2,00 (You need to insert four 25 cents coins, the laundromat person can change bills for coins), the dryer is tricky, I would advice to use it for 30 minutes to make sure everything is dry. 

VNO pro tip: I think there are no Laundromats in Vilnius, avoid getting dirty.

 

Conclusion

Both are interesting places and everything is even better with friends. I enjoyed so much hanging out with my friends in NYC and I simply adore all the things I do with my friends and my girlfriend around Vilnius. So many things to discover around here and at NYC as well.

 

 


About Lithuania: Cultural shocks | More Cultural Shocks | Girls | Cuisine | Friendship |  Beach, flowers, quiz and mosquitoes| Lithuania and RussiaKissing and the SunWork Environment |

About Europe: Madrid | Portugal | London | Amsterdam | Vatican & Rome | Three Years in Europe

Other: New York vs VilniusAIESEC


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3 Responses to New York vs Lithuania or Europe

  1. APlaceWeLike says:

    I don’t think Vilnius and New York are comparable – nothing against Vilnius but New York, after all, is the Big Apple! I loved your point of you though as well as your blog. I look forward to reading more 🙂

    If you like, I blog about travels 🙂 https://aplacewelike.com/

    Like

  2. Annette says:

    Chande dime que fuiste a Shake Shack!

    Like

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