New York is probably the best and worst city you’ll ever go to at the same time.
It’s dirty, full of rats, stinks to hell, is full of people who don’t give a shit about you and just want you to get out of their way, but is also one of the greatest places on earth.
Let me explain why.
It’s mostly about the attitude.
Nobody cares where you’re from, what you’re doing there and what you’re doing next. They may feign interest: “Oh you’re from England? Cool…”, then they surely move on to trying to sell you some worthless trinket which will probably break into pieces in two week’s time.
In some ways, compared to where I live, this is the ultimate freedom. You can truly be yourself in this city, because nobody actually cares what you do. As a side note, it’s perfectly legal for a woman to be walking around topless in NYC. You learnt something today. Thank me later.
It’s this exact attitude which attracts me to this city. In London (and LA, I imagine), it’s all about where you are, who you’re with, how you look. “Hey look at MEEEE!! I’m so cool!”
In New York, nobody cares. Do what the hell you want. Nobody will remember you. This is the place where you can be yourself, and nobody is going to judge you other than maybe yelling at you for crossing on a “Don’t Walk” sign…
When Krystal and I went to New York, it was incredibly hot. 36.C+. I needed to carry a drink around with me constantly. Take my advice and buy soft drinks in bottles. The water tastes funny from the tap – in Chinatown at least.
The food they serve can be a little unusual too.
I was actually quite okay with the amount of people that were around in NYC because I’m pretty used to it in London, and this wasn’t much worse. Times Square even had spare paving stones with no people standing on them.
Look, an empty sidewalk!
Alright, just kidding. Here’s what it was really like:
Yep; chaos. Getting onto the bus from Chinatown was equally crazy when it was late. We chose to take the bus from Philly because it was pretty cheap, but we had no idea about the kind of people we’d be sharing the bus with on the way back.
These people were literally stepping on each other to get on. They would do anything to jump the queue and guarantee their seat on the bus, even though everybody had a valid ticket.
Some lady was there with two toddlers in her arms at the door of the bus and even she was getting shoved aside while the rabid “people” stumbled up the steps. She flipped out a bit. I also had to put my arm across the door opening to prevent Krystal from being pushed around too. Luckily, we made it on and back to South Jersey, although it took us almost 3 hours for some reason.
We spent two days in New York in total, but probably could have used up an entire week just wandering around.
We both got sunburnt, mostly from spending hours lazing around in parks and going to see this little lady:
In all, the parks were probably the highlight of my New York visit, if I’m honest. It’s probably because I got some quiet time to spend with my companion/tour-guide/partner-in-crime.
One really great moment was when we went to the M&Ms store in Times Square, then headed over to Central Park to chill out, eat chocolate, play on the swings and annoy the kids by stealing their slide.
Here’s what that view looks like:
We also went to see Ground Zero on the second day. It was free to get in, but you have to book tickets before you get there. The security going in was OTT as can be expected, but it was worth going, maybe just to pay your respects if anything else.
This place is certainly thought-provoking:
I’m not really sure what else to say about New York, which surprises me because there’s so much to see there. Maybe I’m a bit overwhelmed by the experience. I’m sure I’ll add more to this post later.
I’ll leave you with this great photo I took on board the ferry: