Monday, April 23, 2012


It's been a while now since our trip to NYC. I've posted blogs that reflected what we did there, what we saw etc with accompanying videos. Now it's time to do a little reflection on the trip and some of the impressions of that city
New York City is the City of the Hustle. Everyone there hustles. From kids on street corners trying to sell you their rap CDs by putting your names on it, to outright panhandlers, to the Empire State Building where they make you have your photo taken in hopes you'll buy it as a souvenir later on. The hustle was everywhere, from the pedicabs to the Central Park horse drawn carriages to waiters to cabbies. The hustle is persistent but it's not aggressive. If you met it head on it was easy to deal with. It was a sport that I mostly enjoyed.

New York is a city that appreciates its past. While here in Toronto one sees countless cranes constructing yet another condo, NYC was clad with scaffolding as they refurbish on of its historical buildings. Of course New York went through its condo phase, it's famous for it, but even something like the Chelsea Piers, a gentrification project that laid waste to an old neighbourhood, not only put in a great deal of public facilities but also maintained some of that historical feel. That just doesn't happen in Toronto. We loved all the Victorian and turn of the century buildings in the city and we could not get a clear picture of Carnagie Hall (which was next door to our hotel) because of the scaffolding

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods but NYC is the city of neighbourhoods. Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Harlem .. famous neighbourhoods, all of them with long histories and their own distinct personalities. I liked the fact that every neighbourhood had its own park or square, some more than one. I particularly enjoyed Madison Square Park. With its trees, its chess tables, its sculptures, its mosaic tiles, it really was this little oasis of calm in the middle of the city. There were more locals than tourists, enjoying the unusual warm day in March, taking a moment to pause and breathe with the city all around them
New York City:

On the street you can get hot pretzels, fresh fruit or chicken gizzards on a stick .. what more could you want

People wave to you from bridges as you pass under them on the rivers. Homeless guys give you advice, and good advice, where to buy a real deli sandwhich. The Carnagie Deli, as it turns out

There are a lot of dogs in Manhattan. Like a crazy amount of dogs. But you can't let them run free in Central Park. And the fenced in, off leash areas that we saw were about the size of a postage stamp and filled with indoor/outdoor carpet. Terra would go in there, give you the border collie head tilt as if to say "No, really, this is funny but where's the park .. no, really dude, where the hell is it."

People were friendly. Yes we stuck mostly to touristy areas but even as we wandered off track, residents were more than helpful. On our one sojourn into the subway a young woman was very helpful to us in our confusion. The same could not be said of the ticket seller himself. When in Chinatown expect even the subway employees to not only be Chinese but to be .. well .. really Chinese.

Things move fast in NYC. The people, the traffic, the taxis, it really does just go like bats out of hell. Jaywalking is a major contact sport but I understand why. The blocks are short, the red lights frequent and you feel like you can never really make progress. The traffic is startling. Traffic lights are merely suggestions, apparently, and New Yorkers creativity is expressed on their ability to make lanes wherever they go.

There are bicycles in New York but unlike Toronto they know how to keep to their places, ie bike lanes. Yes I saw bikes in the streets but most people seemed to grasp the concept that bicycles are for bike lanes, not traffic.

It really is a 24 hour city. I heard more traffic sounds at 3 am than I did at 4 pm The subway also runs 24 hours a day.

We found a discount liquor store. You could buy a bottle of Jose Cuervo that would cost you 60 dollars in Ontario for 20 bucks. I know why there are so many taxis in Manhattan.

Oh and it's not pronounced Man hat tan. It's pronounced Man hat in

Just so you know

No comments:

Top Blogs Pets

Add to Technorati Favorites