On Bad New York Days + “Fake Problems.”


I had a different post planned for this afternoon. It was a round-up of pretty white dresses and accessories. But then today happened (and mercury went into retrograde), and I decided to go a different route. There will be plenty more pretty things on the blog later this week. But guys. Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like you should have just stayed home? I had one of those mornings today. If I had just stayed in bed, today would have been so much better. I’m going to tell you what happened, but ask you kindly not to judge me too badly because a lot of what happened today was my own fault.

It started with Soul Cycle. All of my stories seem to start with Soul Cycle lately.

I’ll start by saying that booking a class with one of my fave instructors (Charlee!) can be nearly impossible. If you are a Soul Cycle devotee, then you know about Super Soul. Soul Cycle gives you this option where you can pay double the class fee to book your classes ahead of time. Yes, that’s right… there are people who pay $3,500 for a package of 50 classes, which works out to $70 per class. They don’t get anything extra, but they can book ahead, getting the best spots in the best classes. I obviously do not do this, because I have a hard enough time paying $30 per class. So, Charlee’s classes are nearly impossible to get into when you factor in the Super Soul-ers and everyone else who (like me) logs in on the dot at noon on Monday to book her classes. If I can get into one of her classes in a given week, I’m really happy.

I was excited that I managed to sneak into Charlee’s 10:30am class today… until I realized I’d accidentally booked TriBeCa. As a general rule, I avoid TriBeCa because I live on the east side of the city and there is no easy way on public transportation to get there. Also, whenever I try to go there, I get lost. Always. But then I remembered that I had a credit with uber that I could use. Perfect. I’d treat myself and take uber to class. (Yeah, I know… uber to the gym. Gross.)

I woke up early, answered emails, did my usual social media… and got into my uber at 10am with plenty of time to spare. (Or so I thought.. the map on my phone said that I’d be there by 10:17) But then… traffic. So much of it. Suddenly it was 10:35am and I was at the intersection where Soul Cycle is supposed to be, unable to locate the actual studio. I was stressed. You don’t walk into class more than five minutes late. Even one or two minutes late is embarrassing. It’s dark, hard to set up your bike, and it’s really distracting + inconveniencing to the rest of the class. So there I was, walking up and down Warren street, looking on both sides of the streets and completely unable to find the studio. At 10:40am, I gave up and wandered into a coffee shop. At this point, I was so stressed/irritated that I was near tears.

I ordered a green juice and an iced coffee and plunked down $17.00 for the two. (I’m bad at math but something seems off there?) The shop was packed and two (very large… large as in tall + broad) businessmen were standing squarely in the middle of the shop, talking loudly about their Hamptons plans. They looked like bankers, so we’ll just refer to them as the bankers, going forward. There is absolutely nowhere to sit. The shop is growing louder, and the bankers are in turn talking even louder (and completely unaware of their surroundings / the people trying to politely sneak around them and get some milk for their coffee). The bankers are talking even louder and still unaware of their surroundings save for a smirk at me as I stood there like an idiot in my gym clothes. My head started to spin, and I spilled my coffee. All over my pants. At that point, all I could think about was how much money I’d already spent, and how much time I was wasting. And how I’d now also wasted my coffee, and homemade coffee would have been so much better.

By some stroke of luck, I spied a staircase, and ventured down… hoping that it was more seating and not the restroom. And it was. Blissfully empty seating, except for a nice girl who shared the Wifi password with me. I exchanged maybe four words with this girl, but it made my day so much better, just getting a smile from a stranger. So I sat down, drank my juice, and typed out this little story, unsure of whether I’d actually hit publish. Because really out of all the things you could read today this is just a bunch of nonsense about a morning that wasn’t even all that hard in the grand scheme of life and all the real problems + things that could actually go wrong. My girlfriends and I call these “fake problems,” but sometimes our fake problems are just as annoying as the real ones.

But I did decide to publish this because despite the fact that I sound like a total brat who wastes all of her money away (uber! soul cycle! green juice!) I know that so many of you live in New York too and get it. Life here is far from perfect, and living here is hard. Maybe “hard” isn’t the right word… “irritating” is probably a better choice. You waste a lot of time, living here. Most of the time you waste is spent waiting in line or trying to get somewhere. And you waste a lot of money, too. ($15 for a glass of mediocre wine? $35 for an exercise class? Sure thing!) I don’t even bat an eye at these things anymore, but then I’ll spend time in a city where things are so much less expensive and remember that this actually isn’t normal. We won’t even talk about rent today because that’s just revolting. My friends in other cities all have mortgages and beautiful homes, and I’m just dumping piles of money down the drain every month to live in an overpriced urban treehouse (aka a lofted studio). Whatever, it’s cool.

Here’s the thing. If you know me/read this blog regularly, you know that I love this city. Passionately. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. So much to do, see, eat… so many amazing people, so many opportunities career-wise that I wouldn’t have if I lived elsewhere. But here’s the other thing. To survive here, to thrive here, you have to be okay with all of the above stuff and just roll with the punches. Nine years (it will be ten in January!) of living here have defiitely toughened me up. The weirdest stuff has happened to me here (and continues to happen) but it rarely phases me. One of these days I will tell you about my early apartments here and some of my misadventures from my twenties… that will make for a fun post.

So for whatever reason, today phased me big time.  But you know what? It’s not every day that this kind of thing happens. Most days I cook my own meals and take the subway or walk/ride Citibike, so I barely spend any money. But then there will be a day like today and I’ll find myself curled up at home in my sweatpants, frantically petting my cat + looking at apartments in Charleston on Craigslist. The key is remembering that most days don’t suck, and that the irritation is usually temporary.

Also, just a heads up for you all… I mentioned it before but Mercury just went into retrograde (til June 11th) which means that life is going to be a little crazy for the next few weeks. Yes, I fully believe in that stuff, no I don’t expect you to believe in it too, but when mercury goes into retrograde my life always seems to go a little haywire.

I’m probably just feeling a little nostalgic, too. So many friends have left the city over the past two years, and so many more are leaving this year. I totally get it. Sometimes I think I’ll leave too. But then when I actually seriously consider it, I can’t quite imagine that, either. I love this city. And I know that if I did actually leave, I’d probably be back within a year.

(In case you’re wondering, after all of this, I went home, put on my comfiest clothes, made another coffee, and decided to restart my day. It’s going much better so far.)

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Been there!

    5.19.15 Reply
  2. Alicia Imbrock:

    As a fellow New Yorker I totally understand! I hate the days that just start bad and feel like they continue to get worse. It is kind of amazing how we don’t even bat an eye at the price of things here compared to other cities where it is far less expensive to live. But like you Grace, I love this city and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Good for you on starting the day over! Sometimes that’s all you can do and it makes everything better : )

    5.19.15 Reply
  3. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes we are able to handle the big-time, real problems so much more maturely and rationally than those irritating “fake” problems? As long as you can distinguish between the two and not let the fake problems overshadow the real blessings of your life, I think you’re all good 🙂

    XO, Stella

    5.19.15 Reply
  4. justine:

    i decided to walk to work today and wore my gym sneakers. they were washing the sidewalk in front of a shop on 5th and soon the back of my legs were covered with dirty city water! i nearly turned around and called out of work!

    5.19.15 Reply
  5. VO:

    You’re cute. I always read you and never comment, but I liked this post.

    5.19.15 Reply
  6. I hate days like that, but then I remember that people are starving, homeless, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and in the middle of war, and then I remember my problems are lame. Sometimes restarting the day is all you can do, spend some time alone to relax. Tomorrow is usually better! 🙂

    5.19.15 Reply
  7. Oh geez – chin up, girl! Those moments SUCK but thank you so much for sharing them, it’s always good to know that everyone has an off day. My friends and I call those problems “luxury problems” 🙂

    Warm Regards,

    5.19.15 Reply
  8. Christina:

    This sounds exactly like some days I have in NYC. You should try giving the TriBeca Soul a call. It’s probably too late to go in person, but they are really (surprisingly!) nice if you cancel or miss and just can’t help it. I just got them to refund Sunday for me when I had terrible allergies, and another time when I hated the instructor they gave me a full refund too.

    5.19.15 Reply
  9. I couldn’t relate to this more…after all, my blog is named Pink Champagne Problems for a reason 😉 I truly think it’s ok to have those “problems” that are not really problems…just unfortunate things!

    Love this post – it’s very real!

    Dana | Pink Champagne Problems

    5.19.15 Reply
  10. YES. YES. All of the yes. My roommates and I refer to these days as “Rashy.” So irritating and frustrating that you literally feel like you’re breaking out into a rash in your own skin based on horrific or annoying surroundings. Rashy days are the worst and you absolutely had one. But I figure about New York is that having these days makes you appreciate those blue sky – sunshine filled – rose sipping – park hopping -fried visiting days all the more amazing to soak up. So let’s plan one soon and remember all the things we love about New York!

    5.19.15 Reply
  11. Oh my gosh thank you for sharing this! I’ve lived in New York for almost a year and a half now, and while I love this city so often living here can feel like an uphill battle. Whenever I visit friends in other cities I find myself thinking “It doesn’t have to be this hard”. As in, living your everyday life can be so much easier in so many other cities!! But, then there are days here where the weather is perfect and the energy is just contagious and you couldn’t pay me a million buck to live somewhere else. I think it’s just part of being a New Yorker unfortunately haha

    5.19.15 Reply
  12. I have totally been there, and I feel for ya!! It’s never too late to restart. I’m glad to hear that the rest of your day has been better, at home, and with kitty cuddles. :p

    5.19.15 Reply
  13. Aw sorry you had a rough day! Have you ever tried classpass? I’ve been doing it a couple months now and it’s saved me a ton. No $35 classes and I can go to peloton (obsessed), flywheel, etc but also yoga, pilates…. I love!

    5.19.15 Reply
  14. Love love love this story – we’ve all been there! Just one of those frustrating days where things are irking you and not going your way. Glad you were able to go home and press reset :).


    5.19.15 Reply
  15. This is why I work in NYC but live in New Jersey. I can’t deal with the prices and craziness of the city. I do enjoy working there and making weekend trips though.

    But, like you mentioned, in hectic, crowded places in the city, there is always that one nice person who makes your day. 🙂

    5.19.15 Reply
  16. L:


    It’s funny that you should write this post because on a bi-monthly trip to my nutritionist today, I passed through Madison Sq. Park and thought of you as I usually do when I’m there. When I see the pictures on your blog I get nostalgic. I went to Baruch (before they made that courtyard between the campus and library! ) and M.S. park was a place I frequented for years. Whenever I head toward my nutritionist’s office I always hope that I’ll run into you taking pictures in the park so that I could tell how much I enjoy you and your blog.

    We all have bad days or “problems.” It’s life. You kept going and that’s all that matters.

    5.19.15 Reply
  17. Love this post, thanks for being honest. Just because they aren’t ‘real life, serious’ problems, doesn’t mean they don’t knock you around some times. Hope the rest of the day went well x

    5.19.15 Reply
  18. Oh saaaad!! The funny thing is that I know exactly which coffee shop you wandered into because I used to go to the TriBeCa studio ALL the time. So many of my blog posts have been written within those walls. SUCH GOOD COFFEE, but super expensive green juices lol. PS the TriBeCa studio is in fact SUPER confusing to find, but it’s basically connected to Whole Foods in the back. Also if you ever dare venturing back there, Tomas is an absolute angel. Give him 45 minutes and he’ll fix all of your life problems 🙂 Hope your week gets better!

    5.20.15 Reply
  19. Molly:

    Fake problems are the ones I usually end up in tears in over ha. It seems so silly to cry over being late/spilling coffee/etc. but sometimes those are things that end up putting me over the edge.

    5.20.15 Reply
  20. Oh man. I’ve been there. As amazing as Charleston is, these things seem to happen here too unfortunately! Starting the day over is the best way to deal. Hope your day ended on a high note!! xo

    5.20.15 Reply
  21. I had the same weekend. I moved to Charleston on Friday, and the work order to turn the water on at my new apartment had never been scheduled. I ended up staying in a hotel for the weekend (could have been a lot worse), but it was a frustrating experience. I just had to remind myself that I’m in Charleston – things could be worse! I hope you’re having a much better Wednesday!

    5.20.15 Reply
  22. LOL. I’ve only lived here for 6 months, but THIS has happened to me. It happened to me going to soul cycle on W27th. I go to the one on E83rd every week (it’s my “healthy” addiction), but wanted to take a class with the same instructor on a different day. The 6 downtown wasn’t running, so I had to take an effing cab and then the cab turned on the wrong street and I was almost late. The panic that ensued was ridiculous lol I was so upset about it

    And then I recently took a soulcycle class back in So Ca and it was less than the classes here. Besides the startling rent price we ended up agreeing to when we moved here, the price of soul cycle was sticker shock lol

    5.20.15 Reply
  23. God! I can completely relate to this. I’ve been in London for nearly 6 years and getting to the stage where maybe we should move. I love the idea of moving and doing something new but then I think but London, the city, the capital!


    5.21.15 Reply
  24. A bad day in NYC is a BAD day like nowhere else. Add long , packed commutes and sounds (and smells) of the city and things do become overwhelming. I’m new to the city as of January and I’ve had my quite a few of these days. At the end of the day, it’s all totally worth it to live in this magical city! Also, take a break from soul cycle and try out BFX in fidi or Chelsea! Best, Kaylah

    5.29.15 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      you are so right. it really is!!! I will have to check out BFX… thank you for commenting (and welcome to NYC!)

      5.29.15 Reply