New York is pretty much the polar opposite of many of the places I have been for the last six months. All of these places can be described as relatively quiet, remote… and no people. Including places like Davis, Seward and South Lake Tahoe. Contrast that with New York, and I suddenly realized that on a planet of 7 billion people, all those people that aren’t in Alaska or Tahoe, are all in New York City. Quite the shock to the system.
Its impossible not to describe the city as a busy hive of activity, with everyone in a hurry and crowd surfing seems to be the most efficient method of getting down a sidewalk (and to avoid all the smokers). It is such a hive of activity, that the best way I can explain it… is that being in New York City is kinda like feeling slightly buzzed at a party, and suddenly everything happening around you is going a little too fast for you to comprehend. That is how I felt after being in Alaska and suddenly being in New York.
Besides the initial shock of “OH MY GOODNESS PEOPLE!!”, my visit was quite enjoyable. My sister lives in a quaint shoe box in the Sea Port area, near the Financial District (don’t I sound fancy), and made me feel quite at home. In Manhattan its impossible to get bored, however your budget needs to be a little bit larger to accommodate that type of entertainment. Even so I got to see some pretty awesome things. The short list includes the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, where if you bring your own ukulele they will actually give you sheet music for a song you can play along with… for all my ukulele playing friends. I got to see several panels at New York City Comic Con, and see a live show with the Nerdist Podcast (if you haven’t heard of it you should check it out. It is hilarious! http://www.nerdist.com/). I got to see something a little non traditional, called “Sleep No More”… its one of those things where the audience wears masks and you explore a “hotel” which is actually a converted warehouse, and you stumble-upon and subsequently follow actors that are playing out a loose version of Macbeth. If you like interpretive dance and nontraditional theater, this one is for you! I also saw Spiderman: Turn off the Dark (super cool fly system they have here) and the Blue Man Group. Oh and you can’t forget the food… way too much food. But so much good food.
As for the things that didn’t require money… well they are few and far between. New York can be likened to a huge elaborate mall (especially in the whole area by Times Square). But there is a lot of architecture, and some wonderful wandering that can be done in the city. The New York Public Library is gorgeous, as is Grand Central Station. Central Park is lovely. If you like bookstores, the Strand Bookstore is one you can get lost in and find some treasures. Of course, you can’t forget places like Ellis Island and the American Museum of Natural History. Get all the knowledge!
But get some good shoes, cause you will be doing wandering is conducive to doing a lot of walking. Even though Manhattan looks small on a map, its plainly not. (In all confidence my legs are in excellent shape right now).
To wrap this up, I do have one story. I originally was going to leave New York on Monday (the 29th), however with Tropical Storm Sandy looming in the distance, my mother had the good sense to move my flight reservations up a day, so I instead left on Sunday. Which is either makes me an incredibly lucky person or I have a very intelligent mother, because if I hadn’t changed my flight… I do think I would be stuck in JFK, wondering how I would get back home. Seeing the pictures of the city during the storm now, all the masses of humanity, are all gone. For example here is a series of pictures of a completely empty Grand Central Station (http://imgur.com/a/4eebS). I jokingly thought, why couldn’t I be in New York now? The thought did run through my brain, though in all seriousness, I do hope that the storm blows over quickly and that everyone in the North East stays safe.
Just makes me realize that it feels good to be back in California 🙂