Now that we are on board Amtrak 115 to DC I’ve got a bit of time to kill, so here are 10 thoughts on, and things we noticed in, NYC.
1. Nowhere else in the world will you hear the honking of so many car horns. If the traffic light turns green and the front car isn’t already moving in the first half a second those behind them will honk. If y’all are stuck in a jam and are going nowhere then everyone should honk. It helps you feel better….
2. Everyone is on their cell phones all the time, having loud, proud and quite frankly brash conversation. The number of times I heard “I’ll tell you what I think” and “fuck” was incredible.
3. Those cellphones everyone is speaking into are hidden away in pockets or handbags. Everyone uses their headphones, one so they can gesticulate with both hands and two so they get surround sound, and can block out all the honking from the traffic.
4. New Yorkers love all the carbs and other not so good for you foods. Pasta, doughnuts, bagels, pretzels, hotdogs, cheesecake, pizza….. yet the general population don’t appear generally overweight.
5. On the topic of food and drink, you can barely turn a corner without coming across a street vendor, hole in the wall or dining establishment. These people will feel you well and fill you up but won’t tell you where to find the closest public bathroom for love nor money. Public toilets don’t seem to exist.
6. You will get dirty here. I can’t point out the exact time I realized but I looking at my white chucks a couple days ago they are going through 50 shades of grey…..
7. There really are legitimate people called “lafawnda” “triciteh” and “aschleigh”. Also “Jesus” and “Pedro”. This is a truly diverse and colourful city. New Yorkers on the whole were friendly and happy to chat. You must ask a direct question though, don’t make awkward eye contact and smile or they freak out a bit. Also, if you do chat to them make sure you use slow words that aren’t too kiwi. They can’t cope with our weird colloquialisms.
8. Across the 5 boroughs there are of course smaller neighborhoods and suburbs which have their own flavour and appeal. It seems that the lines that divide these sections are not blurred, often you can turn a corner and end up up in a dramatically different area and vibe than you were previously in.
9. The subway is efficient but sometimes a bit gross. You’re all up in people’s grills when it is packed. The state of the station is dependent on the neighborhood it is in (some were actually like art galleries. Others more reminiscent of a bathroom).
10. The subway is good but pounding the pavement and actually seeing what is in every street is better. Walking shoes are a must and even during the work week I saw few pairs of high heels on the office workers, which was a suprise. In fact, fashion mecca or not I don’t feel like I saw too many crazy outfits.
On a side note, it’s a gorgeous day here and we are about an hour from DC. Looking forward to a picnic in the sun once we have found our apartment and dumped our (very full and extremely heavy) bags.