What isn’t in New York?

“What isn’t in New York?” was my flip response to a friend asking why I was taking my vacation there. And you know, I was always rather disdainful towards the people from New York who commented that they never left. But frankly, I suspect you could easily never leave New York and experience nearly everything this world has to offer. An observation that is not new or novel.

That said, while I suspect I could happily live in this city for a few years if I needed to for career reasons. I’m a west coast girl—and I’m still figuring out the rhythm of crossing the street against the light so I appear to fit in. But speaking of fitting in, we’re now at six people having asked me for directions in three days. I’ve been as helpful as I can be as a tourist myself—but I still puzzle over what combination of “mostly harmless” and “knowledgeable” I must be projecting over here.

Thus far, as usual, my trip has been filled with random neighborhood wanderings—Brooklyn on Sunday, Greenwich Village to Soho to the Lower Eastside on Sunday and Midtown and the East Village today. It’ll be Central Park and the Upper Eastside tomorrow. And those wanderings always lead to lovely unexpected things. Yesterday, I’d planned to wander through the Hester Street fair, and was happy to discover someone there making taiyaki—who I was first introduced to by Masumi many many years ago. Love me some feesh waffles.

Taiyaki maker from Nijiya Market

I must say though, the most disappointing thing this trip has been the transit. For a system of a similar age to London and Paris, both those systems are far better in terms of system user communication. From next train information, to maps and way-finding. It’s remarkable how terrible the MTA is at all of it. That said, you can see that they know and are working to improve. The newer trains on the L and F lines have digital in-train route context displays, and I assume that other lines are getting the same upgrades over time as budgets allow. Station upgrades are clearly happening, as I noticed construction issues all along the lines I’ve ridden the most (mainly the A train). But for all the people in Seattle complaining about the issues we have with Link—frankly, systems much older than ours are struggling with the same things. No one gets a perfect transit system overnight, or even over 100 years.

Anyhow, I’m a bit rambly since it’s late. Checking out my pictures is probably the best way to get a feeling for what I’ve been up to.