Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welcome to the (Concrete) Jungle- I ♥ NY

"New York is a different country.
Maybe it ought to have a separate government.
Everybody thinks differently, acts differently
--they just don't know what the hell the rest of the United States is"
-Henry Ford 

Ok, Ok.... I will be the first to admit that I don't always love NYC.
We have a passionate Love/Hate Relationship going on. 
And it IS two-sided:  NYC can be very good to me, and it can be a reeeeeal pain in the @ss.
Growing up in Jersey, right across the GWB (George Washington Bridge for those not in the know), I've spent most of my life in and out of NY.

* Being a little kid, going to NYC was always fun and exciting. 
Dinners, Theatres, Shopping~ Going into NY was always an adventure
* When I was in High School, NY was the place to sneak off to and hang out on the weekends
Ahhh..... so many fond memories of going into the city and carelessly dancing the night away, sitting on stoops, and all the crazy adventures I've had over the years.
* Now that I'm older and have to go into the city for work and to see friends and family, it's not as pleasurable as it was back in the day
("JUST COME OUT TO THE CITY!?!" my friends will have to coax me) 

The traffic and crazy drivers, the hustle and bustle, the chaos that can be NYC can put me in a state that I like to call "New York Neurotic".
* HOWEVER, I have literally travelled all around the world and one thing I can say without hesitation is that there is nowhere else in the world that is like NY. 
Love it or Hate it~ NYC is one of the most amazing places in the world.

Spring is one of my favorite times to be in NY.
The warm weather and carefree breezes, the flowers and trees blooming everywhere, and a renewed feeling of energy and positivity that New Yorkers seem to carry after a long and cold Winter help to make NYC a wonderful place to visit in the Spring.

If you are a tourist or have never been to NYC, here is my advice to help you get the most out of your trip.

Yes, the skyscrapers in NYC are very tall. 
There is too much to see all around you~  There's tons of Stimuli.

* New Yorkers are always on the go.  They also hate it when tourists walk really slowly and just stop in the middle of the street to look at something. 

- If you want to get a closer look~ Step to the side.
- If you want to take a picture~ Step to the side.
- If you want to rest~ Step to the side.  (Do we see a pattern here?)

“Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.”
-David Letterman
New Yorkers jay walk all the time.  If you're not used to this, just wait for the traffic lights.  It can be dangerous (the drivers will NOT stop for you).  Or quickly follow the New Yorker rushing across the street before a car hits them.

“A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.” 
-Mignon McLaughlin
If you're not used to city driving, don't drive in NYC.  The drivers can be VERY AGRESSIVE and NYC is a walking/public transportation city.  Some of the best things you'll see will be on subways and while walking from neighborhood to neighborhood

“Every block of the city is a quintessential definition of the highly diversified New York food culture.
Each area is divided as a small village of its own unique flavors and history.
The variety of cuisine that the city provides is almost infinite.
Starting from Tribeca, Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho, Lower East Side, Meat Packing district, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Gramecy Park, Theater, Lincoln Center, Upper East Side, Harlem, The Bronx, Brooklyn to Queens; New York City will never fail to surprise us with its treasure of cuisines"
-Vikas Khanna

NYC has some of the most amazing chefs and restaurants in the whole entire world.
You can eat cuisine from all different countries, cooked in all different styles, and things you'd probably never even imagine is edible (yet taste delightfully delicious).
PLEASE do not come to NYC and eat at a chain restaurant!?!?!?! (Especially one in Times Square)
You can eat Mickie D's and Applebee's anywhere in America~ Don't do it in NY.

There are sooo many amazing culinary opportunities at all different budgets.
- If you don't have a lot of money to spend on dining, NYC is a great place to find small hole in the walls that have fabulous food at frugal prices.
- Find out the where the locals eat.  If you can find the same restaurant in another state, avoid it and try something that you can only find in NY.
- Splurge.  You can always go on a diet when you get home.  Get the cupcake!  Eat the Creme Brulee. Drink the glass (or bottle) of wine (but go to happy hour when it's much cheaper!)  =D

Every person on the streets of New York is a type. The city is one big theater where everyone is on display. -Jerry Rubin

New York is a city of sights.
There is a plethora of things to see. 
- NY is probably one of the best places to people-watch. 
Generally, the more downtown you go, the more interesting the people watching can be (until you get to Wall Street~ they're boring down there!)
- Sitting in an outdoor restaurant or bar is great.  There is a place for whatever vibe you are looking for, so just do a little research and go exploring.

- Get some nature in Central Park.  It's huge. It's beautiful.  It's a nice respite of green among all the buildings and concrete.  (I have yet to find the elusive white bridge that is in all the movies... but it exists!)
It's always fun to lie out in the Sheep Meadow Park after a long day of walking around.

-NYC has an amazing array of entertainment and cultural options.  Go to the museums.  See a play or musical.  Check out the flea markets.  There is sooo much to do~ but make sure you get a good mix of touristy activities and things that a real New Yorker would do.  If you only go to see the World Trade Center, Empire State Building, and Statue of Liberty, you're missing out.

New Yorkers can be very up front and in your face. 
I like to think of it as "keeping it real".
-New Yorkers don't really have time for B.S.  (at least not in the every day interaction sort of sense).

For the most part, the people that you encounter probably aren't as friendly as your neighborhood grocer. 
I guess you might even say that New Yorkers can be rude  (Gasp!)
They want you to order as quickly as possible, pay, and get out of the way.

- Don't take it personally.  I used to~ and I used to feel bad for the rest of the day that the counter person was so rude to me. I have learned to grow a thick skin.
It's usually not a personal thing.  The city environment can bring out a certain side that living in a less populated area might not.  Or it could totally be because you're a tourist (and New Yorkers can hold a slight feeling of disdain for tourists)  ;) 
*My advice:  Expect the worst, and you'll probably be happier with your experiences than if you expect the people to treat you the way they would back home.

Whatever you do and wherever you go during your trip here, Carpe Diem!
NYC has so many opportunities for a myriad of experiences.
Take advantage of being in one of the most unique and amazing places in the world.

Yes, it can be extremely fast paced and stressful, loud, and overwhelming... but it's all part of the experience~
You'll be back home safe and sound soon enough! 
Make sure you're living it up while you're here

So... I hope my advice to surviving NYC helps you out a little bit.
As much stress that I can get from the city, I can't help but love her.
It's truly the "City That Never Sleeps"~ (Perfect for Insomniacs like me!)
And when people ask me why I don't live in the city~ I'll just say, "My life is crazy enough as it is"  ;D

"You come to New York to find the ambiance that will evoke your best.
You do not necessarily know precisely what that might be,
but you come to New York to discover it"
-Dr. James Hillman

"The thing that impressed me then as now about New York . . . was the sharp, and at the same time immense, contrast it showed between the dull and the shrewd, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the wise and the ignorant . . . the strong, or those who ultimately dominated, were so very strong, and the weak so very, very weak-- and so very, very many"
-Theodore Dreiser

“It couldn't have happened anywhere but in little old New York.”
-O. Henry

If Louis was right, and you only get one great love,
then New York may just be mine...
and I can't have nobody talkin' shit about my boyfriend.
-Carrie Bradshaw

*~ Have a Beautiful Day! ~*


  1. Love this post! Oh NYC, I do not go in often enough! :( So many endless possibilities of food and fun and I wasted most of my life not taking advantage of it. But better late than never I suppose.

    Story time:
    My friend who is in vet school in Scotland came home for the holidays back in December/January and a group of us met up in NYC for a little reunion. Ya know that line in your blog "PLEASE do not come to NYC and eat at a chain restaurant!?!?!?! (Especially one in Times Square)
    You can eat Mickie D's and Applebee's anywhere in America~ Don't do it in NY."

    Yeah, we ate at TGI Fridays in Times Square. And I was SO MAD because there is a plethora of unique, cheap restaurants and they picked Fridays!! But there was nothing I could say or do. Just say goodbye to $20+ and choke back the chicken bruschetta I ordered. :'(

    But since then, I've had Afghan and Thai with other people and so that has satiated my hunger for good, different food (pun intended. Because I LOVE food. Any and all kinds. And I WILL eat EVERYTHING. Haha ok, anyways, great post once again! :)

  2. haha.. thanks for your comment stacey.
    yeah.. i'm all about getting people to try new things. i don't understand why you'd travel to do the same things you can do at home.
    it's all about new experiences~* =D

  3. Great advice list. I love NYC even with all the hustle and bustle around it. Some people, which includes me, thrive in that type of atmosphere.