Friday, November 1, 2013

New York City - Personal Impressions

There's so much to say about New York City, that I decided to devote an entire post to my general impressions of the place.

Negative:

NYC is incredibly expensive.  We did the city about as cheaply as we could by staying in New Jersey, taking public transportation, packing our meals, and shying away from expensive experiences, like Broadway shows, etc.  But even so, this is an expensive city.

It seems to me that everyone there has the proverbial "sailor's vocabulary".  We heard a LOT of cursing, and the F-bomb is in common usage.

I haven't inhaled so much secondhand smoke since the 1970's.  As a matter of fact, so many people smoke in public that our asthmatic 13yo used his rescue inhaler several times while we were in the city.  And this was OUTDOORS!

There is a notable lack of trash receptacles.  I've heard rumors that this is for safety purposes (apparently it's easy to drop bombs into a trash can), but as a result the city has a litter problem.  And it doesn't help that people just toss their litter on the ground instead of holding onto it until they DO see a trash can.

The people are generally rude and unhelpful.  For example, the first day we drove into the parking garage, Steve asked if any spots were better than others for accommodating large vehicles like ours.  The attendant dismissingly waved her hand at us and said, "You just gotta go find out for yourself."  Steve replied with a sarcastic, "Thanks for your help!" as we drove away.  Another example was when one of our kids didn't make it through the subway turnstile in a timely manner and got stuck in it.  Steve flagged down TWO subway workers to see if they could help us, but they just said, "There's nothing we can do" and walked away.  Okaaaayyy... so I guess we were just supposed to leave our kid stuck in the subway turnstile???  Obviously, we eventually did figure out a way to get him out.

People are pushy, but surprisingly it's not the New Yorkers.  No, it was the foreign tourists!  I've never experienced that before!  And I don't mean to stereotype, but the tourists from one particular area of the globe (which I shan't identify) were the worst offenders.

The NYC subway system is difficult to navigate.  The signage was difficult to interpret.  They should hold classes to teach people how to read their signs.

The entire city is very crowded.  There are people EVERYWHERE!  I actually read that there are more than 26,000 people per square mile in NYC, versus a national average of 80.

Just being in the city makes you feel stressed.  Even if you have no other reason to BE stressed, you still feel stressed.

The city is loud and constantly noisy.  People like to use their horns - probably because everyone drives like maniacs!

Positive:

Surprisingly, we never felt unsafe.  I think part of that might be because we were never in the city after dark, but there was a police officer on every corner to keep the public safe.  I thought we would get mugged while in NYC, but we never did.  (*smile*)

The city is very diverse.  It is estimated that over 800 languages are spoken in NYC.  We saw people of nearly every conceivable race and creed!  We've never been around so many Jewish people before.  NYC has the largest population of Jews outside of Israel of anyplace in the world!  That was kinda neat!

If you want to experience it, you can do it in NYC.  There's nothing you can't do there, and I mean that!

There is a lot of culture to experience, from museums to ballet to multicultural events to Broadway musicals.  It's all there!

Central Park is awesome.  It's an oasis from the insanity of the city.

Overall:

All of us agree that while we are glad that we went, we are equally as glad that we don't live there.  Glad we went, but glad to leave as well.
I guess you can't take this "country mouse" into New York City.