It may surprise some of my readers but I love America, not in a flag waving way but in an honest and brutal way, call it tough love, that's why I moan so much about it; I expect only the highest standards.
This trip with Marie was my third time to New York, somethings had changed (like the security levels at just about every tourist attraction, although why it was stricter at an iconic landmark like the Statue of Liberty rather than the more practically damaging Empire State Building I'll never know and can you believe that all you get to do at the Statue is to go to the top of the base? In my dad's day you could go up the arm to the top of the torch if you asked nicely!) somethings remained the same (awful customer service, great food but rubbish chocolate, brilliant beer, very tall buildings).
Although the transit strike slowed us down a little at the end of our holiday, we covered most of what we wanted to see, only missing out on the Lower East Side, East Village, some shops and a few museums we didn't have time for. We even explored the Bronx (brilliant zoo with some lovely monkeys) and Brooklyn!
I'm not going to bore you with an itinerary and needless to say we had an amazing time, New York is so dense with sights and sounds, with famous and important places that you kinda stumble from one wonder to another. Yes, the people are rude and mostly customer service consists of individuals who don't speak English scowling at you as you order food but that's the joy of New York!
- Why are Americans so behind when it comes to mobile phones? Instead of hands-free they just shout into them when they're on speakerphone
- Why is the New York subway ticket system so rubbish and why are there no staff at stations? And while we're at it, there's no suicide pit if people do decide to jump in
- Men dress very practically which is good, as in the UK men will insist on wearing as few clothes as they can get away with. In the UK a scarf is an accessory not a nessicity
- Dogs in coats and jumpers, shops like Trixie and Peanut
- Coke not only comes in millions of great flavours but it is also in bigger bottles. Awesome
- Water and bread at every restaurant is just the best thing ever and should be made compulsory in the UK, rather than having to feel like a cheapskate when you ask for tap water
- Cheap food that tastes awesome
- The Gramercy Tavern is not only a damn fine restaurant but also gave us muffins to take home for breakfast
Marie and I may think of more but for now that's it.
We miss New York already...