1. Eye gaze. Walk down an active street in the city and you'll notice, everyone is looking in either two directions: downward (either at their phones or a few feet ahead), OR, directly ahead and slightly above eye level. This is why, I believe, you often see friends or acquaintances literally bumping into each other, rather than spotting one another ahead of time. People aren't generally looking, they're walking.
2. Frozen Yogurt. People being obsessed with it. People eating it, all the time. Pink Berry.
3. The smell. This only lasts a few minutes, right when I'm entering the city. It's so hard to describe. There's the obvious top notes- cement, dirt, skin, garbage, then the middle notes- subway tunnels, food carts.... but the base note? You know when you don't wash a pair of jeans for a month? It's kind of like that.
And 4 things I always remember:
2. The abundance of beautiful, fashion-forward-subway-riding-women. Dang. Where'd you get those shoes?
3. The precarious nature of a cab ride.
4. "Stand Clear The Closing Doors Please."
P.S. Did you see this chart from the New Yorker? Pick a subway line, find a spot, and see the median household income. Fascinating....and shocking.
(photo from Renovatio)