After spending three months in the Big Apple, I came back to Stuttgart at the end of May. Now I find myself grappling with New Yorker habits in the good old Swabian homestead. The city that never sleeps is famous for being the hotbed for trends. How else could it be, when Italy, China, Korea, India, Ireland or South America or only separated by a few subway stations? In New York, various cultures and influences from all over the world meet and melt together. Combined with the open and vivacious way of the New Yorker, they produce a steady stream of new ideas and new style. Here I am now, with a couple of current trends. We all know there’s a good chance they will make their way to us across the big pond, sooner or later.
– by Jennifer Zimmermann –
The concept of a brand, that should always stay the same to gain the trust and loyalty of a customer, is turned upside down: Ever more stores and restaurants in New York make change their new brand. Take for example the shop „Story“ in Chelsea that changes its entire concept every four to eight weeks. Along the lines of “the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store”, there is a whole world of new products to be discovered every month or so. This way, the seasons that we have come to be used to, are broken into smaller bits of time. In a city were space is the highest commodity, it is thereby possible to offer a broad spectrum of products – just with a delay.
New Yorkers love to create their own meals by choosing the ingredients. Whether its Dig Inn (offers organic produce from local farmers), IndiKitch (an Indian fast food restaurant) or Chipotle (serves Mexican food and now has a place in Frankfurt) – you usually have a choice between different meats, the vegetarian variation and an assortment of side dishes. Nevertheless, they are very quick…
The trend toward healthy, organic and, at best, local food continues. Although the search for an official label is fruitless, it does not keep the food producers and restaurants from praising their “ethical” product range. You do feel slightly offended when a soda water bottle is advertised with “33 % less plastic” in big letters and you discover that merely the cap has been reduced by 33 %. In a lot of cases, the nod to environmental consciousness is more appearance than substance. It would be much more sensible to implement a recycling system that allows customers to return the plastic bottles to the place where they were purchased.
The classic TV set is now a long forgotten relic of old times, it seems – at least according to the apartments I have stayed in the last three months. Netflix has successfully staged a takeover.
Out of the few people I have seen smoking in New York, about a third only held an electronic smoke between their fingers. The easiest explanation for the low number of smokers could be the fact that a single pack of cigarettes costs about $12. Another reason could be the fact that healthy lifestyles are trending and impacting lifestyle choices.
Uber has a much better image in New York than in Germany. It is used a lot in places where cabs are represented more heavily than private cars, anyway. Uber even had their own stand at the trade shows Toy Fair Toy Fair and Coterie, where you could even call a cab.