i don’t think that i really ever wrote about my trip to the big apple. i had a lot of fun while i was there and it was really great to catch up with jenny and carol.
the biggest, most important destination in NYC was b&h photo. it was CRAZY in there. it was much more impressive than cameraworld in oregon. i don’t know if it is neat or if it is sad that the first sight i wanted to see in NYC was a camera store, but this camera store was very cool.
parking is outrageous in NYC and i’m glad that i didn’t drive there either because the drivers are aggressive and crazy in manhattan. in berkeley, the pedestrians are aggressive and take the right of way. in san francisco, the drivers are aggressive and take the right of way often. in new york, everyone takes the right of way, it’s amazing that there aren’t more accidents there.
there are a few observations about new york:
ipods are ubiquitous
so is duane reade
and mister soft-t ice cream trucks
everyone had warned me about how much walking i would have to do while i was in new york. it’s true, you have to walk everywhere that the subway doesn’t take you…or you can take a taxi where. that can get expensive. i didn’t mind the walking, though.
the subway system is pretty efficient and not nearly as dirty as i thought it would be. there were some pretty foul smells here and there at the subway stations, but nothing so bad. i was really surprised at how warm it gets in the subway tunnels and i was equally surprised at how well the insides of the subways were air conditioned.
while i was walking up broadway, it reminded me a lot of a dirty version of vegas. glitzy, glamourous, and gaudy. still, it was really cool to see all these musicals on broadway. i wish i had a chance to see one, but time just was not on my side.
the first thing i ate in new york was pizza. i definitely wanted to sample some, but i wanted to make sure that it was good pizza so i kept walking from shop to shop until i saw one with a big line. the pizza was worth it and it was pretty good. the line spilled out onto the sidewalk and down almost half a block. i worked with someone once who refused to eat pizza in california because he said that all pizza in california sucked. i think that’s just new york arrogance, because the pizza was admittedly good but it wasn’t so good that i would be offended if i had to eat pizza elsewhere.
i was really prepared for rude people in new york, but for the most part people were pretty normal. i wouldn’t say that they were friendly, but there were no unfriendly people that i really met while i was there.
the empire state building, like most landmarks in new york, doesn’t actually look that impressive when you walk right up to it. but if you walk a few blocks away, it looks much more impressive.
there are a ton of shops with character in new york. i think that’s the one thing that is really lacking in the bay area are stores that aren’t so commercial. there was this grocery store called the garden of eden whose display of produce was so impressive, i wouldn’t dare take an apple from their display because it looked like a work of art.
of course, i had pearl tea while i was there. i went to chinatown and had some pearl tea and i had been craving it, but it wasn’t as good as it was back at home. i guess that’s one thing that california’s got over new york, hands down. i also had dumplings at joe’s shanghai and i have to thank gg for the suggestion. it was yummy and cheap.
oh yeah, food in new york wasn’t outrageously expensive. aside from parking, most things in new york didn’t really surprise me from a financial point of view.
i was fortunate enough to visit new york while the san gennaro festival was taking place in little italy. they had an ecclectic mix of booths, but after a few blocks of walking the festival it started to feel like it was just repeating itself. still, it’s crazy how packed it was with people for blocks and blocks!
hanging out with carol was cool, too. i haven’t seen her in over a year and it was nice that we were able to catch up and just pick up as if we hadn’t missed a beat. i’m glad that i got a chance to meet up with her.
the big cultural difference between new york and home has probably got to be the amount of social drinking that takes place. it just seems like that’s what you do when you go out. there are so many bars and it seems that when you go out, eating and drinking are two big things.
the trip was great and i’m sure that it won’t be my last trip there.