Landscaping in ManhattanAuthor: Dea H.
Date of Trip: July 2006
Unbeknownst to me, my daughter entered my name in the Garnier/Entertainment Weekly Must List Party Sweepstakes, which included a trip for 2 to New York and entry to the Must List shindig. There was one prize and I won!
Emily and I had 10 days to rearrange schedules and prepare to travel. We left Charlotte for NY during the last week of June 2006.
Although somewhat well traveled, nothing had prepared us for the fabulous and myth-busting experience that is NYC.
Our accommodations at W Times Square were luxurious yet casual, and so friendly = perfect. I'm dying to figure out who makes their shampoo, it was the best stuff I've ever used.
I agree with Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz, that there is no place like home -- but you'd never know it unless you went somewhere else. Some wonderful, colorful, culturally rich somewhere else...
We're ready to go again. Next year, Pompeii? Interesting and useful things we learned:
1. NYC is not really the US, although it looks like it and sounds like it -- but is more a city-state in its own category with its own unique culture -- sort of like Singapore or Monaco -- nobody we met was from the city but literally from everywhere else.
2. People do not spit on the sidewalk in NY -- as they vulgarly do all over the place in Charlotte -- I guess more people here chew and dip tobacco products.
3. Virtually everybody there seemed to smoke -- and cigarettes in Manhattan were $9.75/pack! Wow! You know this is a real shock for NC's tobacco country folk, though we don't smoke. We were told there is no smoking allowed inside of public places, so maybe it's just that every smoker is standing out on the sidewalk to light up.
4. There are many homeless folks visible in Charlotte -- but even walking about 10 miles a day all over NY we saw only two obviously homeless men and two more we wondered about.
5. In NYC people will bump into you very roughly on the sidewalk -- they do not say, "excuse me" -- but they don't mean anything by it. They are really very nice and help you if you stumble -- there are just too many people there to apologize to all day long. Meanwhile, here in Charlotte, if you even brush somebody with your air when you pass by, they are ready to fight!
6. Similarly, all drivers in the City constantly blow their horns -- even though every intersection has signs that warn of a $250 fine for honking. People accept honking and do not take offense, while in NC even a little beep gets folks very riled up and sometimes they even put it in park and jump out to come chat about it! (We have often seen this here, but we ourselves observe the Do Not Beep rule ;) )
7. They also observe red lights very well and use turn signals in NYC -- totally unknown behaviors in Charlotte!
8. It can get surprisingly hot in NY.
9. Some celebrities and much shorter than they look on television.
10. The cats in Chinatown don't speak English -- none would even look when we said, "kitty kitty kitty..."
11. To visit the Statue of Liberty you need to get a very early start, or reserve a spot online before you leave home. The number of people allowed out there each day is extremely low, for security reasons we were told.
12. Unlike Midtown, which was really fragrant and floral smelling everywhere, some other areas reminded us of our favorite fish market.
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