A whirlwind trip it was. Over too quickly, but I was happy to be home. My mission: see as much as I can in as little time as possible and try not to look like a country bumpkin while doing it.
First Impressions of Manhattan: Park Avenue is lovely, but where are the traffic lights? Everywhere else I had been traffic lights are in the upper middle of your windscreen. Not so on Park Avenue. They are on the median.
1. New Yorkers are abrasive and mean. This could not be more untrue. Unless you cannot find the traffic lights and therefore do not make it through the intersection in a timely manner, they are friendly, helpful and outgoing. On more than one occasion we had someone (unsolicited) stop to help us with directions. Also when you travel with an obviously pregnant woman, they give up their seat while offering their congratulations. Which leads me to my next point. I wonder if they hand out a pamphlet on how to greet people. Everyone who saw my sister said word for word, “Oh congratulations, your gonna be a momma, thats awesome.” I kid you not.
2. The Famous Statue of the Bull is on Wall Street. This may be me just showing my ignorance, but I had always associated the bull with Wall Street. Maybe it was the phrase “bull market” that threw me off. Either way the bull is actually not on wall street it is on broadway and south.
3. The best city view is from the Empire State Building. Although the view from the Empire State Building is fantastic, the view from the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) is better. Why? Because the Empire State Building is in your view. Also there aren’t a tone of bars, wires, whatever, blocking your view. You do however get a better look at the Chrysler building and Central Park from the Empire State building. And you really should go up the Empire State Building at least once in your life, cause after all it is the Empire State Building.
If you are taking pictures at night from Rockefeller Center, have a small tripod. Standard tripods are not aloud up there (although I saw more than one). If you don’t then all your pictures, except for the one you precariously balanced your camera on a corner of cement, will be blurry. Unfortunately the cement wasn’t completely square and my picture looks like the leaning Tower of Manhattan.
4. The Subway is dangerous and dirty. I didn’t try all the stops and I didn’t ride all the trains, but that was our main mode of transportation and therefore I was on it many times during the day and night. The stations were generally clean and the trains were also. I only saw one homeless person asleep on the train, which is more than I can say for my own city. The cars are air conditioned and for $8 and change for a day pass, I have to say it is the best form of transportation for the average tourist. I know we wold all like to be able to have a town car to get us around, but did I mention I was on a budget? No. Well this trip was made possible by Air Canada’s seat sale. Round Trip $282.55 taxes included. Thank you Air Canada.
Another Impression: I am truly amazed at how they build such tall buildings and so close together. The spaces are less open than our down town and I wonder how in movies they are able to get such shots that seem to give you the feeling of openness. I was surprised that the garbage men come around every night and will collect what ever is sitting on the side of the street. I saw a ton of ducting just sitting there waiting for the sanitation crew to take it away. Midtown and the upper east and west sides were quite clean and beautiful. I apologize to the poor person who stepped in my chocolate and ruined their louis vuitton’s. I was just as sad as you were when I dropped my “street treat” on 5th Avenue right next to Central Park.
To be continued…