30 Days of Indie Travel- Day 15…CITY

BootsnAll says: What is your favorite (or least favorite) city and what do you love (or hate) about it?

My favourite city from my travels (so far) has been a very close tie between New York and San Francisco. I’m going to feature New York in this blog post because I think it has more variety than SF which make it that small bit more interesting.

New York is one of those cities that is so vast and has such a huge population that it is impossible to put it in a box, to generalise it. I like that. It is a living, breathing entity, full of change and diversity.

Despite getting a bad rep abroad for its high crime rate in previous decades, New York is essentially a pretty safe city. And ignore the stereotype that the locals are rude and would rather step over you in the street than help you. Road-testing this theory by asking for directions in many different locations (I have no concept of north and south) proved that if anything, New Yorkers are too helpful. Giving directions or recommending a restaurant is serious business here. Often several strangers appear out of the woodwork, trying to one-up each other in the helpfulness stakes.

This is a city where you can find pretty much any cuisine in the world if it takes your fancy. For a foodie like me, that is heaven.

Contradictions abound here too. Bryant Park – an oasis of calm and beauty amongst towering buildings of stress and greyness.

Where else would you find, amongst a cluster of sky-scraping financial buildings, a monument to Irish immigrants comprising of sprawling grassland and a stone cottage? Nonsensical, but somehow quintessentially New York.

Of course, there are negatives that come with my rose-tinted view of the Big Apple. Privacy comes at a premium here and the more touristy streets can be impossible to naviagate. Traffic becomes an art-form, a parade of yellow-clad taxis.

New York can be infuriating at times; sometimes expensive, occasionally pretensious, often too crowded. But it is intoxicating in its variety and life. There is always more to discover as you desperately try to uncover the mystery that is New York. All at once commercial and down-to-earth, rich and poor, touristy and unexplored. I’ll be back, New York.

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Posted on November 15, 2011, in TRAVEL and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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