Once upon a time, I wrote in a blog that I bought my cat litter off Amazon. Someone snidely commented:

What? They don’t sell cat litter in supermarkets in New York City? he he he (Ok- I just added the villainous he he he…)

To which I replied-

“No. Space is at a premium in Manhattan. Cat litter is too bulky for most markets to carry it. They’d rather stock food. I would need to go to a pet store which is a fifteen minute walk, and carrying home twenty pounds of litter is just a little too much for me.”

That reader stopped reading my blog after that…

But it basically underscores a point: as an urbanite without use of a car, my day to day life is probably quite different than most.

One of my friends always wondered how I actually do my errands…So today, I’m going to give you a glimpse into how I do the normal things that most people get into a car and do.

I food shop at least four days a week. I consider myself very French when I head to the farmers market to look for the produce that looks nice. My local green market is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I try to get there on those days- it’s a fifteen minute walk from my house, so this is often the first walk that Betty and I take on those days. I only buy what can fit in one reusable shopping bag. It used to be two, but as I now have a hernia, I decided it was best to carry less… I do try to buy as much as possible from the farmer’s market.

When the green market is abundant, like now, I only visit the supermarket once a week. I normally pick up beef, chicken, pork or fish that can be put in my freezer. I also try to get staples like oil, flour etc., but I don’t buy more than one really heavy item at a time- just too heavy. Less stuff at green market means additional trips to supermarket- fifteen minute walk which I can’t bring Betty.

I buy almost nothing in boxes, cans or frozen. My exceptions to this are frozen peas and fruit, canned tomatoes, canned tuna, some canned beans and condiments. this is twofold: I don’t like to eat processed food and I don’t have the space to keep things. I have two shelves in which to keep things that are not condiments/staples like sugar, flour etc.

I do not buy things like laundry detergent at the market. First off- too heavy to carry with groceries. Secondly- they probably cost twice as much as the supermarket. I do separate trips to pick up these items at stores like Harmon or Target. Living in the city means knowing which items are overpriced and where you can get cheaper. The moisturizer I use is seven dollars cheaper in one store as opposed to another. On an item that costs less than twenty dollars, this is a substantial difference in price.

I usually order my pet supplies on line. Litter and bags of food are heavy. Though these days there have been shortages of pet food, so I’m grabbing it when I see it.

My dry cleaner is across the street. Shoe repair down the block (though business has been slow so I don’t know how long that lasts) Post office is across the street. Having these things within a block of my house is a life saver.

I tend to build my errands into my daily routine- walk the dog to Target and Farmers. Hit the market on the way home from someplace else, etc. As I walk everywhere and don’t have the ability to put things in a trunk, I need to plan out my route and when I can get things.

I am not really a shopper of other things though- I rarely hit a store to make a purchase that isn’t household related. I do admit to bookstore and stationary store browsing however. They are places I just love to wander, with little intention to actually purchase.

My errands are set into my planner. I need to think about what I need and how much I can carry and if the dog is allowed somewhere and what the hours are. I do not want to be one of those people who relies on 24 hour delivery services to get things like advil. While you can do that, it’s not how I choose to live. I choose to support my local businesses, both small and large, as much as I can.

I know the way I do my day to day life seems odd to many, but it’s how I’ve learned to operate. This is your day to ask me any questions about living in a city…

94 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. I enjoyed this glimpse into your live LA! Only on my 3rd cup of coffee. Once I wake up, I’ll probably have some questions. Btw, your former reader sounds like a….. Later! DM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gotta do what you gotta do. Alternatively I used to live near the water on a peninsula with no stores. As the bird flies the grocery store was only 3 miles away. Driving there took 20-30 mins. This got old fast so he ran all the errands at the same time. We considered buying a canoe so we could paddle across the creek (it was about 150 yards wide) to visit our favorite pub. Driving there was 30-40 mins but only 150 yards by canoe. Funny how circumstances and geography dictate life styles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally true. We figure out how to get through our day to day so that we’re not driving ourselves too crazy, while also getting things done

      Like

  3. Eye-opening indeed. So many pros/cons of why an individual or family chooses the lifestyle and homeplace they do. And…who cares where you get your cat litter, even if you lived next door to a pet store!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wondered how you did all that without a car, thanks for the insight. 🙂 It is a different world from mine on the west coast. I hate to pay shipping costs!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow, that is such an interesting glimpse!

    But I’m still hung up that the person who commented stopped reading you after the kitty litter rejoinder. Perhaps they should have hung on long enough to read your post this week about tolerating other people’s views!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right? That was exactly my point the other day…can you really condemn without context? In order to say someone is bad, don’t you need background first? This reader assumed I was a spoiled snob in a city of spoiled snobs as opposed to someone just trying to get things done efficiently and economically

      Liked by 3 people

      1. If I were to catalogue a list of comments she made, it would show a bias against NYC and those who live there based on her never having visited said city

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Mostly comments like that come from people who can’t imagine that other people don’t live the same life as they do.

      We didn’t have a car until I was 17. In Switzerland we didn’t need one but also had little space for extra storage, so frequent shopping happened. In Canada, a car is almost a necessity, but somehow we managed without one for years.

      Today? No way we can function without a car. The infrastructure is just not there to take us even to a doctor or dentist…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I loved your writing about shopping in the city. That’s the way I lived 50-plus years ago in Queens, except we didn’t have a dog. I did have a shopping cart, though, so I went to the supermarket only once a week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My problem with the cart is, knowing my personality, I would load it up so much that it would be hard to push. It’s like walking into a big box store for one thing and grabbing a cart…you know you’re going to end up filling the cart

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  7. Not odd at all – depends on lived experiences and relatability. I totally get it; and appreciate you for elaborating on your day. Fun to get a glimpse into your daily erranding…wondering if I should add a he he he, here. hahaha. have a great day, LA.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My friend and I wish to spend our lives similar to yours. We were just talking about it the other day. We live in the suburbs, yet stores are only a five-minute drive away. We discussed buying fresh every day for a month and seeing how it went. Of course, we haven’t started it yet, ha! As you mentioned, French or European of some sort. When you can’t rely on a vehicle, this lifestyle makes complete sense.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. I loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That explains why I have been having such a hard time finding my dogs food. I did t know there was a shortage on dog food now. We have been getting her the same food for years. We gave her something different once and it made her really sick so the vet told us not to switch her food. Although now they want us to switch her to a sensitive skin and stomach food but we haven’t been able to find it either.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m too scared to switch my dogs food. She got very sick last time and the vet said not to do it again. I’m still working on finding the sensitive skin and stomach dog food but that’s been a struggle too.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What an interesting lifestyle. Totally opposite from mine. I suppose it might be different if it was just my husband and I but still, I don’t think I’d like having to shop so often. In fact, I try to go only once every other week but then I spend $200 – $300 at a time. Of course we have the space to keep frozen foods and canned goods. I wonder if it would be as hard for you to adjust to my way as it would be for me to adjust to yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have resorted to buying cat litter from Amazon lately. Olive only likes original Johnny Cat. I went to three grocery stores and Target and couldn’t find it. It’s frustrating to pay triple on Amazon or Chewy.com, but the kitty needs her litter. Also, I go to our farmer’s market every Friday. It’s very small, maybe 10 booths and only one with veggies. But I enjoy buying fresh from the farmer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Living in the suburbs most of my life, where everything is miles apart, and I always had a kid in tow, required some sort of transportation. Sadly I’m quite dependent on my car. I’ve often romanticized what life would be like in a big city and now I have a glimpse, much appreciated. You must have great legs, me not so much, but I know where the cheapest gas is, and my trick is parking in the same location regardless of where I am (I park far left, and up) so I never lose my car! It happens. I walked an elderly lady around for 30 minutes looking for her car at Target the other day. I like your way of living! C

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I live close to stores. Still prefer curbside pickup and delivery. And yes, I get my dog food from Amazon. This is 2021. Lol

    But it’s very interesting to hear how you shop. Different parts of the world function as fits best for location and preference.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We do live at opposite ends of the spectrum. Absolutely nothing is in walking distance from my house. It’s a 10 mile drive to the nearest store. But like you, I buy from fresh produce stands in season, and shop local for nearly everything. We do have plenty of food storage space, though, so I can stock up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well…this is how I do it. I have two neighbors who don’t shop at all but have all meals delivered or eat out. I have a few neighbors who have all their groceries delivered…one from fresh direct, one from a local supermarket. One of my neighbors does a huge traders joe run that lasts two weeks…all frozen meals

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Very interesting post. Your life is very different from a suburban life. The two places I lived in Mexico were different from urban and suburban and from each other. Small rural town in NM is again very different. There are positives and negatives to each place, and you are blessed to live the lifestyle you enjoy. My question: do you actually have a stationary store? I was thinking about that recently. I used to love to go to one as a teenager in my hometown in the South, but I haven’t seen one in ages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have paper source, which is just fun, and city papery which is awesome. However, when I walked by today it looked like they were boxing things up. Hoping it survives

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I find this account of your lifestyle fascinating and yet totally the opposite of my rural existence. I cannot fathom how I would manage in that situation…..as my arthritis has increased, my ability to carry things…especially for any distance…has greatly decreased. I’m afraid I would have to resort to one of those little “wire carts” like my Grandma used 50 years ago! Now I can well-imagine why she did! I will say, the required material simplicity of living in a smaller space does have an appeal. Thanks for sharing this peek into city life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for the glimpse into your life. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that someone “unfollowed” you because you bought kitty litter on Amazon???! Why do they care?
    But glad it inspired you to write this post. Now I know how spoiled I am. LOL! We live in the suburbs. Its a 10 minute drive to the grocery store,Drs. Office, work, Target, pet store, interstate, etc.
    What I envy you on is being close to museums, bookstores, galleries, Broadway, and coffee shops. 🙂
    And you probably get more exercise than me which is also a plus!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for explaining that LA. It’s a very French way of life. I remember living in Toronto without a car and the grocery store was several blocks away and only buying what I could comfortably carry home, but I can’t for the life of me remember how we bought laundry detergent or toilet paper? In fact, I can’t even remember doing laundry, although we must have had a laundry room as we didn’t have a washer/dryer in the apartment. I suppose with so many restaurants available that you would not need to have too much food on hand anyway? Do your nearby restaurants deliver, like Door Dash etc?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. LA I’m familiar with the way you shop since I have so many friends who live in NYC. It’s actually how I lived “BC” (before cancer and also before the pandemic). Once I retired, I shopped in person multiple days a week as if I still lived in the city. Everything I bought was fresh. It made more sense. Now due to treatment and the pandemic, a significant amount of my purchases are on done line, through Amazon, and/or using a food shopping service like Shipt which brings my food items directly to my door. Some things are fresh, but now I also have frozen foods on hand too. I look forward to going back to shopping that way again. It’ healthier food wise and also exercise wise too. ( you are constantly out and about).

    Liked by 1 person

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