This past week I visited New York City for the first time. After being so exposed to NYC through books, movies and television, I thought that I knew what to expect from the city. But, now I know that I definitely needed to experience it first hand. There is just something about wading through the sea of people dressed in black (I thought that was an exaggerated stereotype, but really there was so much black) or entering the underground world of the NYC subway system that made the legendary city finally feel real. Although it wasn’t quite as intimidating as I expected, I have no doubt that I will always feel green (i.e., inexperienced and unsophisticated) while in the city limits… no matter how many trips I make to NYC in the future.
I enjoyed visiting a lot of the typical tourist attractions – the Statue of Liberty, Time Square, NYC Public Library, 9/11 Memorial, 30 Rock Observation Deck, Chicago on Broadway, live taping of The View, Central Park, and others. But, I have to say that a few of the most memorable moments from the trip were experiences that I consider unique to The Big Apple.
For example, we saw an array of interesting people in Washington Square Park – a man dressed as a chicken making balloon animals, a bagpipe player, people playing chess, a trio of jazz musicians and even a thespian performing a monologue. All things that you don’t see in a park just anywhere. We had a native NYC cab driver who held down his horn then cussed out the car next to us for refusing to pull up six inches so that we could get by on a narrow street. Is it sad that I found that incredibly entertaining? And, we got off of a delayed subway train just in time for the train to start moving again. Apparently you do need to be a true New Yorker to correctly interpret the conductor’s announcements.