Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Day in NYC - Part 1- The Subway

My best friend, Brenda, and I decided to fly and spend a day in NYC. I hadn't been there since I was a child and Brenda had never been there. So, on my blog I am going to break up our trip into different blog posts because even in one day there is just too much to share.
One thing I had never done was travel for a day via public transportation - color me spoiled. Honestly there isn't much need to travel via public transportation in Neenah, WI. For one thing the buses stop running at 5 p.m. and for another I have a perfectly good car.
When we first got to the hotel a woman on the elevator told us, "NYC is the friendliest place in the world with the friendliest people in the world. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise." I don't think that what she said is untrue, but I do think that she forgot to spread the word regarding that fact to the rest of the population. We found that New Yorkers are indeed helpful and friendly, but only if approached first.
The subway and buses were not nearly as dirty as you would think. There are thousands of people traveling every single day. Most everyone has ipods or mp3 players stuck in their ears and many of them take advantage of the ride for much needed sleep. I found a lot of people that were working full time and also attending school. The subway ride was their only nap time.
No one speaks until you speak with them first. I greeted everyone with a cheery "hello" and received a lot of smiles from other people. I said a word of kindness to others I saw such as "that's such a pretty dress," or "you have beautiful eyes." Everyone I spoke with was polite, smiled, and seemed genuinely pleased. One young man who is finishing school this year said, "I sure hope your enthusiasm is contagious. We need that here. I think we've forgotten how to be courteous."
I don't know if that is necessarily true. People were more than happy to help us find the right train and point us in the right direction. Even two of NYC's finest at the Staten Island Ferry area were joking with us and were very helpful. When I asked, "Are all NYC police officers as cute as the two of you?" they responded with, "No. Not at all. We're the only ones."
I met people from all over on the subway. Most were from NY and had lived here all their lives. Interestingly enough not many of them knew where Liberty Island and the ferry were located. They had never been there. It is safe to say that 98% of the New Yorkers we asked had no idea how to get to the Statue of Liberty nor had they ever visited. The 2% that did were working on Liberty Island, which I'm not sure counts. "We just assume it will always be there," said one young man.
Reading material on the bus was intriguing. One young man from Guyana was reading Tartuffe by Moliere. He was genuinely interested in my impressions on the play. He was rereading it for amusement and not for a class. Another was reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegot. This handsome young native New Yorker had read previous Vonnegot novels and found he liked the writing styles. A young girl, no more than 12, had just been to see a production of The Miracle Worker by herself. She was very careful not to bring to anyone's attention that she was travelling alone.
There were all kinds of people from all over the world riding with us in the subways. It was almost like being in a foreign country at times. But even people who eaves dropped on my conversations and happy wishes to others seemed genuinely pleased with a kind word to others. They wished me a good visit and smiled at me as they exited on their stops. So it is possible that NYC has a bad reputation for nothing because I have to say that the people we met were not unfriendly at all. They are just busy and hardworking.
The only person that we can say was Mr. Grumpy Grump was the bus driver on the Q43 when we were exhausted and returning to the hotel. Brenda was rather amused by his sully attitude and suggested he get a new job. But even he was kind enough to make a stop that was not on his schedule to drop us directly in front of the hotel.
I believe my next post will be on Liberty Island and the ferry to get there.


RemonDrop said...

I have to day my negative thoughts about New Yorkers come from the people calling in to customer service. It's hard to like people who start the conversation screaming at you, however I don't hold it against all of them. I'm glad you're having a good time!

Davis Miller said...

Point Break - A Perfect Bar Experience in NYC

A local friend recommended and took my Cali group to this amazing bar. He said that mostly locals came here so I didn't really know what to expect ambiance wise... but screw it, the view at this bar was absolutely breathtaking! No joke. I felt like a celebrity w/ superstar treatment as the staff are friendly and amazing to say the very least.

I don't know who the house DJ was but he definitely was playing music right up my alley. It would've been my dream for people to start dancing, but it's all good.

It's a bit sceney for my taste, but it really didn't bother me much. the bartenders knew their stuff, although their 1st cocktail was a little weak, when he saw i understood cocktails the next 2 were stronger. I also liked that even though the place was really hopping the bartender remembered what i was drinking when i came to order another. (he also understood how good a gin hendricks is, and not to overpower it with the mixer). It was amazing to see their “das boot” which is shaped like a boot filled with beer. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk…it’s an actual boot shaped beer container ready to be emptied..try it will love it!! can I forget, they even have a wheel o' shots where you just have to spin it and have to drink whatever shot it lands on!! Now call that bar creativity at its best!!!

We ordered the Veal and Fish Tacos. They were delicious. Mm! We ended up asking for spoons to polish off whatever remained in the platter. (Faux pas? Who cares as long as it gets in my tummy.) The fries were crispy, but not overcooked, just the way that I like them.

So take in this scene: You walk in to what seems like an overly crowded place, but soon fine an empty table. Time seems to stop and the only indicator of the night moving on is the moon and your brain cells slowly going to bed forever. The music is not to loud and the people around look good, the only thing left for you to do is to enjoy that drink you paid ridiculously low for and laugh at the joke your co-worker just told.

The vibe of the place just never seems to die out and if you happen to spot some NYC socialite, sports player, or star, don't let it get to you... because for that moment, this night they are no long more important than then you. In fact go up to them and introduce yourself!

All in all just a great place to meet new people, or just have drinks with people you already know. I've been to numerous bars in the city but i would say this place is just great. Very welcoming staff, very laid back ambiance. I’ve been here twice after my first visit with my Cali group . I would say its worth the every penny you spend!!

Pasty said...

That sounds like a good place to go, Davis. I will have to check it out next time I go there. Thanks!