Saturday, July 12, 2014

Grace Takes NYC

So, my family and I just got back from a 4 day stay in the Big Apple, I have a lot to say about it so I'm narrowing it down to pros and cons.

Let's start with the positives:
Pros:
  1. Layout: I really liked getting to know the city and figuring out how to get places based on street numbers. By the end of the trip I saying, "We have to take the E train to 50th and 8th and then it's just two block to our hotel." 
  2. Celebrity Sightings: Now, I didn't see anyone too famous but I did meet and get a picture with Sophia Lucia (extremely well known dancer-look her up, she's amazing!) and Ginger the weather lady from Good Morning America. It's pretty exciting to know there is always a possibility of running into someone famous!
  3. Broadway: My mom and M saw Les Miserable and E, my dad and I saw Phantom of the Opera. We all LOVED our respective shows. It is definitely cool to have so many amazing productions right at your finger tips. 
  4. Central Park:  We didn't get to spend a whole lot of time there but it's really amazing to see. It's so big and nicely laid out, a whole park right in the middle of the city! While we were there we got to see the statue of Balto and listen to a free outdoor concert. We also took the bus down there from Good Morning America to their summer concert series and saw Keith Urban perform!
Cons
  1. Cleanliness: Now, I didn't think it was awfully dirty or anything but there was a bit more litter than I'm used to seeing and a lot of ominous looking puddles with trash in them. Also, bad smells from garbage seemed to waft at me every other block or so. 
  2. Unfriendly Locals: I have NEVER been so rudely bumped in to as I was in NYC. Everywhere else I've been you apologize after hitting into someone, especially if they're apologizing to you when it wasn't even their fault! Not one person said they were sorry after hitting me and no one even responded when I apologized when it wasn't even my fault. Furthermore, I didn't like the rushed, crowd mentality and the fact that you couldn't even stop to catch your breath before someone scowled or bumped into you. Granted, we did meet some nice local folks when we stopped to pet their dog but they were certainly the minority. 
  3. Walking: Now, I can withstand a good bit of walking but I've never walked so much in my life as I did in NYC. I felt like 90% of the time we were walking place and 10% of the time we were actually doing things. My feet ached so badly by the end of the day that I really wanted to cry. 
  4. Too Much: To me, the whole city was too big, too much concrete, too noisy, too crowded. I couldn't even understand how anyone would want to live there. It was almost like an alternate universe. I need grass and trees and open space, I give credit to anyone who can live in a city like that. 
  5. Shopping Disappointment: I know it sounds ridiculous to say but I was so let down by the shopping in the city. Everything was either too expensive or shady knock offs. The big department stores were cool to see but just over the top. 
Final Thoughts
I guess to me, New York sort of stands for everything that America shouldn't want to be known for. The crazy consumerism where a simple dress is hundreds of dollars, the unfriendliness toward outsiders. The city felt like a way to cram as much as possible in one place by building up instead of out, yes it makes for cool tall buildings but it also leads to overcrowdednes. There were good parts of it and I think everyone should experience NYC at least once in their lifetime but for me, that was enough!

-G-

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