This weekend I visited New York City for the first time in my life. How I happened to have grown up in New York state without ever visiting New York City is a long story, but lets just say that my NYC virginity is officially lost, and I’m not sure what I feel about it. I did not get nearly as much time there as I would have liked, and I did not go to most places. I never even visited downtown Manhattan, or Greenwich Village, or Chelsea, which are all at the top of my list of places to see. I plan to go back very soon so hopefully I’ll conquer those neighborhoods then.
So here is a preliminary list of what I love and hated about NYC, based on what I saw:
- Museums. We visited MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Cloisters and every single one of them was amazing. I feel as if I have lived my life too far removed from art.
- The people. Everyone in New York were so friendly and helpful. They would just hear you talking about how lost you are and they’d volunteer directions. Or the man who used his atm card to unlock the door to the bank for us on Saturday, so we could use the ATM. Nice people, you rock!
- The architecture. There are so many beautiful buildings in New York.
- The school’s. A lot of the focus of my trip was to check out Graduate Schools. We toured Columbia and NYU and I know that I would be perfectly content with either of them (though pray for me that I get into Columbia).
- The filth. I knew it would be there, but it still was dis-concerning. I’m no prude. I grew up playing in manure in a barn, but New York just made me feel unclean in every way. Also the weather wasn’t that great and we spent most of our time trying to jump over puddles on Broadway and failing miserably. How I am not ill right now, I’ll never know.
- The lack of independent shops. For some reason, I thought there would be more independent coffee shops and bookstores on the Upper East Side, but there were none! Everything was Starbucks (one ever five feet) and Barnes and Noble. “Think about it,” Drew said. “It’s NY, the corporate capital of the world.”
- Transportation. I love taking the bus, and I am a frequent user of the Capital District Transportation Authority. The buses in NYC can go to hell. They cost 2.75 to ride and they only accept EXACT COINS. You can’t even put in a dollar. Albany is more up to date then that. I could put a five dollar bill into a bus at Albany and get a card back good for five rides. I spent twenty-four dollars in two days on a Metrocard alone, and we didn’t go anywhere! I was also shocked at the price of the Subway, but that was at least faster and more reasonable than buses.
As I said, we didn’t do much over the weekend, so there isn’t much more for me to say. I think I still love Boston more than New York City, but surprisingly, I love Albany most of all.