May 2010


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The above is a rough transcript of what my trip in NY has felt like. Lots of slow travelly bits on the outside and a ton of random stuff packed into the middle. We bought a lot of stuff but that’s not what I’ll remember. What I’ll remember was the ‘experience shopping” that we did, mostly accomplished by walking to all of our shopping destinations. We were there for three days and probably walked the equivalent of the length of Manhattan Island, maybe more. We also went up the Rockafeller Centre and looked at all the places we walked through.

Three things surprised me about Manhattan.

Firstly, it’s kind of little. For some reason (blame a lack of previous research into or knowledge of this city) I was expecting huge. Like, Tokyo huge. But New York doesn’t really rebuild its buildings that often. The tallest building in the place is still the Empire State Building, and it was built in 1931.

Secondly, it’s really friendly. Everywhere we went people were just busting to give us a hand with directions, chat about shops, or just generally share a laugh. This was quite contrary to the NY stereotypes I had heard about.

Thirdly, there are no automatic doors. Go figure.

Once again, I’m betting the things I’ve seen are probably more interesting than the things I’m saying… so here are some Photos!

I’ll start with some intersections, as they came in a surprising variety.

Apparently, the biggest store in the world is a Macy's. And it's a freaking MAZE in there!

Apparently, the biggest store in the world is a Macy's. It's a freaking MAZE in there!

Definitely taken from the top of a bus.

I think this is in Greenwich or Noho... Southern Manhattan, anyway.

I think this is in Greenwich or Noho... Southern Manhattan, anyway.

Intersection near Times Square.

Intersection near Times Square.

Times Square at Night

The infamous Times Square itself, recent recipient of one smoking van.

And a few cool textures I spotted…

Yes, M&M's count as a texture.

This store had awesome decor. It was called abc something and something. Expensive as all get-out.

Black cars look good with Times Square all over them.

Black cars look good with Times Square all over them.

Really old Escalator in Macy's

Really old Escalator in Macy's

We also went up Rockafeller Tower. I shall sum up the view with 1000 words, condensed.

View from Rockafeller

You really started to see the islandy-ness of Manhattan from up here.

...And the squarey-ness of central park!

Well, that’s all for now.

Adios!

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Well, I’m only here for a couple days, but I’ll keep my eyes and ears open and try to notice things.

So far, I have been through the airport and had one taxi ride. My room is not readyyet, so here I am blogging despite the lack of visited destinations.
This may be a good thing though… the city has already shown me a glimpse of its face, and an impression has started to form. It will be interesting to see if said impression sticks as I explore.

Some things I find myself making note of right now city are things like how bathrooms and doors work, and how convenience food is treated. Thus far the bathrooms have been a bit un-ergonomic (think small corridors in the airport, broken faucets, inefficient dryers. The apparently ubiquitous breadyfoods store “Au Bon Pain” lists the calories in its sandwichy bits! As a person always suspicious of the foodstuffs presented to me by such places, even this little bit of information is nice to see.

But this is boring information from the airport – the cab ride was much more interesting!

I took some photos in the taxi, using my point-and-shoot as an external and moveable set of eyes when I couldn’t see enough of “up”. I couldn’t really see out my window so I used the open one in front f me. Here is what I saw that I couldn’t otherwise have done:

WHoa there goes something!!

New York from Taxi

I am prepared to be wowed by the size of things here. It is a City.

I have yet to fully realize this word, I think, and my conception of its meaning is about to be hit with… New York.

New York from Taxi