Jun. 27th, 2010

rickps: (Travel)
Hello, hello? Is this thing on?

Yeah, OK, I've not posted in so long that some must suspect me dead or having returned to my home planet. Well, sorry to say, neither is the case. Mark it down to an even greater lack of creativity than is my norm, OK?

So, after a hellish several weeks of 12-14 hour work days, I treated myself to a week in the Big Apple, the city of my birth (or where the aliens dropped me off if you prefer), the city so great they had to name it twice... New York, New York (anyone who is channeling Sinatra singing right now gets bonus points - or On the Town for that matter).

What can I say about New York? It has always intimidated me. It's a city of too much. Too much action, too much food, too much to do even if you live there the rest of your life. My annual visits have developed a pattern - I come with a list of 'to do' interests. I get to about half of them. Then, while there, I always seem to add to the list making it longer than when I arrived. And when I leave, it's with a vow to return.

I'll save those who have actually read my journal over the years the pain and suffering of my endless ravings about Broadway shows I've just seen and do a separate post on that subject. It's not that interesting, not to worry.

New York is a city of experience. Not necessarily unique but unexpected more often than not. Take this trip...

Riding the crosstown shuttle, our crowded car was entertained by a gal (battery powered sound system and all) singing a wonderfully melodic rendition of a Donna Summer classic. She was good, really good.

Two blocks in one direction from the B&B I was residing at (in the Upper West 70s for those curious) was a 24/7 bagel outlet that made 'em fresh in boiling water at the back of the store. You have not lived until you've had a real bagel. And two blocks in the other direction were two independent markets that offered a dizzying array of homemade food products. You'll never go hungry in NYC, as long as you can afford to pay.

I think they need a new slogan "See Times Square and Die" (or Get Crushed to Death by the Crowds, or Blinded by the Billboards at Night).

The NYC subway system is something of a modern miracle. A confusing convoluted miracle.

Some things never change... When I was working in lower Manhattan, our group would make regular pilgrimages to Chinatown to Wo Hop, a very plain eatery with about a dozen tables and prices low enough to scare you. It's still there, still as good as I recall, and still has a crowd of folks waiting for a table most times of day. No, it's not gourmet but to quote an old saying, you can't eat atmosphere.

You know, there's a vibe about NYC that excites some folks and scares/irritates others. I consider myself fortunate to be in the former group.

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