Growing up in LA, it was what it was. It was me driving everywhere, it was me being stuck in traffic, it was me hanging out at the mall because of the a/c during the hot summers, it was me spending a Friday night with friends at a TGIF and thought the food was awesome, it was me at a school event where there was an In-N-Out truck catering, it was me doing what was normal to me in LA. Also if you DO go to a TGIF restaurant may I suggest going to Claim Jumper instead? It’s just better. I was inside the LA bubble. I didn’t hate nor liked being stuck in traffic, I was okay with going to malls, I was okay with chain restaurants because that was what I grew up with.
What happens when you move out of that bubble? To the other extreme city, NYC. You change. What happened to me was, NYC made me appreciate LA even more. All that were mundane seem so extraordinary now. Humid summers or dry heat? Stuck in a metal tube with other people or be in your own car your own space? A really good plate of Hainam chicken rice. Oh how I want mom’s cooking every night now. Even if its something plain like a plate of sauteed bok choy. But NYC has also shown me things that I never thought I would liked or cared about. Things like short walkable blocks, cabs, an abundance of bars and restaurants, being outdoor, hummus, a good slice, a real Christmas.
On the last day of my 3 day LA trip, I was surprised to find what NYC had taught me at a semi-drive-thru In-N-Out. I was meeting my friend Chris there for lunch and I had no idea that it was a drive-thru but there were 4-5 tables outside. I wasn’t too sure where to go to order our food because there was only 1 window and the girl inside the booth was taking orders from the drivers. But Chris, who had been to this particular In-N-Out assured me that that was the right window. I ordered the #2 combo which was cheeseburger, fries and a drink. We picked a table and patiently waited.
Here’s the thing about me, I’m not an outdoor-y kind of person. I hate the sun, I hate hot weather and I hate sand. People used to ask me why the heck am I living in LA? But after moving to NYC I started to appreciate good weather, the sun and being outdoor. The thing about NYkers is that whenever there is a hint of good weather, people will be outside doing things. After 6 years in NYC I went from hating being outdoors to be okay with outdoors. It’s pretty damn fun to have brunch outside nowadays. It’s weird! What am I turning into? So there we were sitting outside, enjoying our In-N-Out burgers, animal-style cheeseburger for me, chatting and watching the cars drive out from the drive-thru. Will one of those people eat while they drive? NYC made me appreciate In-N-Out all over again. I used to eat it so much that it just became mundane but not anymore!
I love living in NYC, Brooklyn to be more precise. I am a different person now. Sitting under a red umbrella with a single palm tree over us, eating a fabulous burger (also very cheap), being outside on a hot sunny day with a friend. I have to say that it was a perfect way to enjoy this trip to In-N-Out.