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A few months ago, we took a family vacation in Vancouver, Canada. My brother, Bernard, lives there, my parents flew in from New Jersey and my boyfriend (Tom) and I joined them. As the days passed, we spent a lot of time discussing the local flora and fauna and my brother entertained us with stories of his brushes with grizzly bears, his drive across Alaska and other adventures while camping, skiing and hiking.

Tom, on the other hand, is a second generation New Yorker who grew up entirely in New York City. Tom enjoyed my brother’s stories and realized that Bernard had a body of knowledge that didn’t overlap with his own. In fact, they seemed to live in vastly different worlds, each completely foreign to the other. While my brother could identify trees at a glance, Tom didn’t differentiate between trees, because if it was tall and green, it was a tree and that was all he needed to know. Understanding how to survive in the woods for three days without food won’t help when the trouble is in the park at 10th Street and Avenue B. And if you need to take the subway from 14th Street and First Avenue to Madison and 53rd, a compass and a set of binoculars won’t get you there.

What may be obvious to one person is invisible to another.Β At the end of the day, you need the guide who’s appropriate for the relevant jungle.

Following is a short field guide to the subtleties found in Vancouver versus those in New York City.

Birds:Bagels

Trees:Hotdogs

Mammals:Pizzas

Any questions? I didn’t think so. Happy travels!

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