New York Visit – November 2008

As mentioned before, my wife and I went to visit our son in New York City. He lives over in Queens and commutes into Manhattan for work on weekdays. This was our second annual visit to New York.

I’ll write more about this visit in the next few entries; I can’t do it all at once.

Random Notes and Impressions:

1. Taxicab drivers that have never driven anywhere but in NYC would in short order wind up in jail if they moved to Texas.

2. Conversely, taxicab drivers that have never driven anywhere but in Texas probably couldn’t get a job in NYC.

3. Amazingly, I didn’t notice any dents in the cabs.

4. The people in NYC are, in general, probably in better health than the people in Texas. In Texas, if you want to go somewhere, you walk to your car, drive to your destination, and then walk wherever you need at your destination. In NYC, first you walk several blocks to the nearest subway station; descend several flights of stairs; sit around in sometimes crowded conditions (like a horizontal elevator) on the subway car; climb several flights of stairs to street level, and then walk several blocks on average to your destination. By the end of the day, I was often in considerable pain, but it was worth it. My weight is a factor in this.

5. You spend more money for transportation in Texas, but you waste less time getting to your destination, and you are automatically entertained.

6. I couldn’t carry my .45 in NYC, and I missed it. However, I didn’t need it either. This time. To be fair, I haven’t needed it yet in Texas, either. But the day is young.

7. In Central Park, we saw a hawk snag a squirrel and carry it up to a tree limb near us to eat lunch. An ancient form of take-out. Very neat. The squirrel is on the other side of the limb. Central Park is slightly bigger than my front yard.

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8. The city looks neat from Top of the Rock on a pretty day. Oddly enough, it still looks neat on a foggy, misty, rainy day.

9. The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum is pretty cool. I’ve always been fascinated by the SR-71, and I finally got to see one in person. Also gained some insight into the type of life my father must have had in WWII when he was in the navy.

10. Everything in NYC is overpriced. Not a Wal-Mart in sight.

11. It’s interesting to me that many of the shops and buildings are, well, decrepit. You have this weird mixture of ultra-modern and old stuff. You can find what appears to be water towers that would have looked right in Petticoat Junction on the roofline right next to ultramodern skyscrapers.

Many restaurants and other retail spaces are in relatively small but multiple story spaces. Nearly everything has multiple floors because in NYC it is cheaper to go up than to go out. This contributes to the health factor in #4 above. I remember thinking at one point “Thank God – it’s an escalator!”.

12. I noticed that even though it was tee-shirt weather, 65 – 70 F, almost everybody in NYC was wearing a coat or similar garment. I had to take my jacket off to cut down on the sweating; these people were all buttoned up, and did not appear to be getting too hot. Strange. Designer rain boots (galoshes, my son tells me) seem to be popular, too.

13. People in NYC do not have quite the same idea of personal space that we have here in Texas. You spend a lot of time feeling like you’re in an elevator. Of course, a lot of the time you are in an elevator, or on the subway. The crowds walking down the streets are heavier than anywhere else I’ve ever been; but of course, in Texas, you’re walking to your car. Up there, you’re actually going somewhere.

14. If it’s raining, you’re more prone to get wet in NYC than here in Texas. It’s the car thing, again. In NYC, on a rainy day, somebody is selling umbrellas about every 100 feet or so.

15. ‘Stomp’ is fun. And those people are athletes, not just artists.

16. I now have friends in NYC other than my son.

More later, as I think of it. Right now it’s kind of a blur.

-Popgun

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