Last night, I returned from an extra-long weekend in New York City. I went with my mother, sister and some friends (seven of us in total). It was my first visit there. We mostly stuck to tourist-type stuff (bus tours, Times Square, Manhattan shopping) but there’s a reason those things are done by tourists – they’ve never done them before! We did go slightly off the beaten path for a couple of meals, asking for recommendations from locals. We weren’t steered wrong – both our Italian and Greek meals were great.
Things I learned on our trip:
- New Yorkers are incredibly passionate about their city. Anyone on the street we asked for help (directions, restaurant recommendations) were always willing to stop and help thoroughly. This went double for any tour guides we listened to. I know that is their trade, but the amount of knowledge that came out during the various tours we went on was amazing.
- In spite of “America’s obesity crisis”, it was difficult to find larger-size souvenir t-shirts for both men and women.
- Times Square zoning rules say that the buildings there must have a certain amount of advertising and lights. One Times Square (the building that the New Year’s Eve ball sits on) is actually mostly vacant except for the lower retail floors.
I felt very safe in all the areas we went to. Mind you, we didn’t stray too far from the beaten path. The subway, while more complicated than Toronto’s, was reasonably easy to navigate once we figured it out. It was cleaner and had better wayfinding signage too.
I took a lot of pictures from moving buses (and from a moving boat). I took a lot of pictures of buildings as they were either landmarks or samples of beautiful architecture. The problem is that I don’t remember the significance of some of the buildings I took pictures of.
Now that I’ve given my pictures such a ringing endorsement, here is a slideshow of the ones I posted to Flickr.