Published: September 23rd 2009September 23rd 2009
From Shell: What a great time we've been having in NY. It's great to finally see it!
Got off to a great start with a dodgy airport shuttle operator assuring us that they went to our downtown hotel and then stranding us in midtown with all our luggage! It did mean that we very quickly became experts in using the NY subway, particular since we arrived on the one day they decide to do line maintenance and half the stops were out of action. However, I'm wondering how anyone in a chair gets around this town! We had to lug our bags up and down a hell of a lot of stairs.
We've done both night and day tours on the hop-on hop-off buses and took a cruise past the Statue of Liberty today. We've heard a heap of opinions and probably not too many facts!
There are so many people everywhere all the time, I think that gives the city a vibrancy before you even consider all the stuff to do and see.
Off to Holland and Steve tomorrow via Germany - goodbye Dollar, hello Euro!
New York is strangely comfortable. I can't believe it cause I was expecting to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. I guess the "I heart New York" catch phrase has some substance behind it.
For everyone ever travelling from the airport to downtown do NOT use NYAS (AKA New York Airport Shuttle). I literally saw the guy, who did the "sale" to us for the shuttle, motion to the ticket girl to be quiet. Once we got dumped I understood what he was saying to her. Nice welcome to New York after such a great service time in Canada.
One thing that I have to say about the difference between two countries..... In Canada you get great service with people who are very eager to help and to be engaged with you. This makes you feel more comfortable to tip them the expected 15%, they've worked for it. On the other hand the USA (and particularly New Yorkians) treat you like a number, do the minimum that they have to, and expect to get tipped 18% for nothing at all.
Besides my grumbles, I am enjoying NY. It's amazing and vibrant. I love the architecture and the life here. I love that they levelled the island so that there were no hills or mountains left and then put a city on top of it. Like making a cake really.