Comments on New York City--the good and bad

Aug 9th, 2009, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,720
Aduchamp1, you are funny! I just returned from a 4 day visit to the city, (but only from Pa.) I grew up in the Bronx so Wally may consider me a "typical New Yorker" as I agree his negative insights were petty but I think he also wanted to convey some constructive suggestions. I was in heaven for those 4 days; I love NY but sadly haven't come back as often as I wished. I had not a single unpleasant encounter with anyone. Got lost around midnight one night trying to find parking near hotel in Financial district and everyone I asked directions from were very kind and helpful. Sitting in subway after a show, having just missed the C train, A trains came, E trains came, no more C trains. When another A train came 2 different men told us we had to take this instead of a C train. We didn't have to ask for help, it was given spontaneously. Next time in subway I saw very clearly worded sign about taking the A train instead of the C late at night. Don't know why we didn't pay attention the night before!!My first time using the Metro Card machine I must have appeared confused as a young woman helped me with the screen prompts, again spontaneously as I didn't ask for help but cretainly appreciated it. My point though is that the typical New Yorkers I encounted were kind and polite.

KRNS is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 09:55 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Thank you KRNS.

I know that there will always be people who do not like New York. Fine. But if a trainee walked into your work place and on the first day started making recommednations, I doubt he would be well received.

And as far as people calling NY'ers snobs, there will always be those who are intimidated by NYC. So you can either jump on the carousel or watch other people have fun.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,880
When you are in a large crowd in NYC and they are moving slowly is usually because of the TOURISTS gawking. They tend to take up the sidewalk by walking several across AND they tend to walk slower, so blame the TOURISTS not us. We walk QUICKLY, know where we are going and don't need to gawk, we've already seen the city.
travelbuff is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8,133
I loved the horn honking in New York, when we saw ll the yellow cabs, the gridlock and the horns sounding DH and I looked at each other and said this is just like the movies. We thought it was great.
nelsonian is online now  
Aug 9th, 2009, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 521
Wally, taking the train from the airport would lighten up traffic? Newsflash - the overwhelming majority of traffic in NYC is NOT airport related.

Do me a favor, don't come back!
debsnj is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,183
I'm surprised yet not surprised by some reactions here from the New Yorkers. When I first read Wally's post, something about the tone, as other's have mentioned, seemed a bit complaining and judgmental, as in "Why don't you do it THIS BETTER way instead?" Was I reading something into this tone that isn't really there?

But as a New Yorker I know that I should put aside my initial affront, recognizing that we are a city of many different kinds of people all living together in relative peace because we welcome and embrace all comers. So I did step back to examine what Wally is telling other visitors who may not be from New York. His opening words put it in perspective: This is a report of a brief visit by a person with little experience of NYC.

My distillation of his words:
Recently I made a brief visit to New York City and noticed a few things that surprised and puzzled me.

There water towers on the top of buildings--I haven't seen this in any other city.

Macy's has some interesting old wooden escalators, was packed with shoppers, but I don't like the idea of food concessions in stores.

When it comes to dining, you can pay what ever you want--$5 or $50.

There should be more public restrooms.

New York really needs more pedestrian areas.

Horn hawking [sic] is everywhere. The streets are noisy.

I would recommend that New York Don't Walk signs count down seconds remaining to cross the street. However, without a countdown, I very quickly learned that if it is flashing Don't Walk, I had time to cross the street.

I would recommend "Top of the Rock" instead of the Empire State Building.

When I took the tour out to Liberty and Ellis Island, the employees were impatient with the 400 people who dawdled at the security check and on the gangplank. The boat seemed old and unsafe.

I took the Air Train and Subway to 14th Street in Manhattan. It was cheap but it was a long ride. I was frightened by the unfamiliar movements of the train at times. The train ride cost $7.25 and if more people would do it, it would mean less congestion in the city.

After two days in NYC, I needed to relax on the beach.

I enjoyed the one show I attended, Pilobolus. The run is over.

Lord ‘n Taylor was empty but had some good deals. Men’s floor is on Ten.

I slept well in a small but well-appointed private room for $69-$79 at the Hotel Jane (Jane Street near 12th Street) with the shower/bathroom down the hall.

I took two Gray Line tours of Manhattan. At 11:30 in the morning, tour buses had the road almost closed down.

Some of Wally's comments are helpful information and commentary to those unfamiliar with NYC and may express the concerns and fears of future visitors. Many of these same points have been made by NYers offering advice to visitors on this forum and complaining about the HOHO buses. Some are Wally's personal musings without much analysis of the situations cited. (European pedestrian-only areas tend to be in the ancient/medieval center of the past, but NYC has no medieval center. . . . In four days, one can't judge if honking is "everywhere" but honking certainly sounds louder when you stand on the street instead of inside your car.)

The internet is so tricky--it's all about tone. Sometimes I know I sacrifice some of my own voice in posts in order to avoid readers misunderstand that my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek.

Recently I spent a day showing friends of a friend around NYC for a day. One fellow spent the entire day making pronouncements and generalizations similar to Wally's, some after only 30 minutes in the city. I was finding it pretty annoying until I realized that it was just his way of trying to understand and find the familiar in a very unfamiliar setting. How many threads here discuss jokingly what in the world to do with a bidet, while many Europeans can't imagine a bathroom without one?

What I really want to know: Since this was Wally's first visit in 40 years, is he planning to return any time soon?
ellenem is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414
I found Wally's report very helpful.

MichelleY is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 513
I'm sorry if some of you took offense at my comments. It was MY OPINION that some of you SOUNDED like snobs. Since I don't know you how would I know if you were or not? Obviously, my choice of words was poor.

As I stated, I love NYC and have had only very positive experiences with NYers...cabbies, waiters, people on the subway, everyone. I have traveled all over the US and Europe. I feel more comfortable in NYC than in any other big city in the world. Please don't assume that I am intimidated by NYC or it's citizens.

I happen to enjoy trip reports on this forum that are different, quirky, funny, and I happened to enjoy Wally's, but I didn't like NYC any less after reading it. He had some good things to say...he liked the $5 omelets and Macy's elevators!

I hope there will always be these types of reports, and that those with a slightly different view of things always feel welcome.

Jimingso is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
If I wanted to be Wally I could say I had spent 2 days in Dublin and think there is way too much drinking -esp in public. The city is too small and everything closes up very early - so there is little to do in the evening. Also it would be much easier to get around if they would put in some subways to get from the airport to downtown. When they give you tea there are actual leaves in it (ick!) instead of nice sanitary bags. Plus I had a lot of trouble finding decent Thai and Dominican food - and there aren't any tall buildings to give you a view over the whole city. Plus everything is way too expensive - even for someone used to New York prices. And why is it so cool in the summer and why isn't there snow in the winter?

Just for perspective - the entire Republic of Ireland has a population of about 4.2 million people. The population of New York City (including illegal immigrants) is about 9 million, but the greater metropolitan area (including those areas from which many people commute to the city daily to work) is about 22 million. So - about 10 times as much as Dublin, and 5 times as much as the entire Republic of Ireland. Perhaps that makes some things a little different.

Now, I happen to love Dublin - and appreciate the many differences from New York, one of the major reasons I travel is to see the differences that make each country unique - but if I wanted to be Wally I could find a huge amount of "different" things to complain about.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Come back to NY Jimmy, there's a knish waiting for you.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,709
Anyone who comes to visit New York City and chooses to waste one of those days in New Jersey (no offense Jersey folk) can go back to where they came from.
A Proud and non-snobby New Yorker
Skiergirl is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,074
Unfortunately, it's been almost 10 years since my last visit to NYC, with nothing looming on the horizon as a potential future visit but I recall with great fondness my very first trip there in 1997...I had wanted to go to New York for pretty much as long as I could remember, but it took me until I was 38 to get there. I was born and raised in the Midwest and New York was as, or more, exotic than anywhere I had ever been. Indeed, for all intents and purposes I might as well have been on Mars while I was there, for all it had in common with my "real life." I positively LOVED it and found everyone (with the exception of other tourists) quite charming and accommodating. It was a fascinating place and I hope I have the chance to return soon. The one "complaint" I had was the realization that there was absolutely nowhere, ever, to just "sit down." It would wear me out to live there, but visiting? Pure heaven.
musicfan is offline  
Aug 9th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5
I love New York...and New Yorkers! My Italian grandfather immigrated to New York many years ago; I've met some New Yorkers and have worked with them on jobs there and have found they are like people everywhere else, except for that funny accent (Just kidding Aduchamp1) Some of the friendliest and nicest people I have ever met were in Garden City, Long Island when I was there for about 8 weeks earlier this year on a job. NYC is also a great place and I'm excited about going back to visit next week! I promise I won't try to "fix" anything while I'm there! I love you just the way you are....
Mammadeb from Florida
mammadeb is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 12:45 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710

You work all your life to rid yourself of your accent but people like John Travolta and Joe Pesce make a small fortune by not losing it.

I still say when I encountered someone, "I bunked into them."
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 04:14 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,336
"Anyone who comes to visit New York City and chooses to waste one of those days in New Jersey (no offense Jersey folk) can go back to where they came from.
A Proud and non-snobby New Yorker"

What if you need a kidney?
smetz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,503
I still say when I encountered someone, "I bunked into them."

OMG, I haven't heard that expression in the 36 years since I moved to California LOL! Where, btw, "they" all think I have a New York accent, despite the fact that all my NY friends think I don't!
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
New York can be difficult and overwhelming. The typical tourist wants to see the typical tourist stuff so everywhere we go is crazy crowded with tourists and poor New Yorkers just trying to make it down the sidewalk. I just facebook friended a guy from high school who has lived in Manhattan for about 25 years...he was describing his neighborhood of single family homes and large trees...I looked it up on a map and it wasn't far from places I've been but his lovely sounding neighborhood isn't the image I have of Manhattan.

If your favorite vacation ever was hiking in the mountains or strolling on the beach, NY may not be your cup of tea. But people who love NY, please don't be rude to those who visit and don't love it. Aren't you GLAD not everyone loves it? Think how crowded it would be then.

I can relate to the OP's views of boarding the boat to Ellis Island/ it really necessary to yell at the tourists? I thought the same at Lion King, where the folks who worked the house were barking orders at us as we entered...not very "Disney."
missypie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 07:57 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
What if you need a kidney?

I call my rabbi, they will import them into NY.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,941
Since there has been some discussion on this thread about designating a poster a "snob", I think it worth while to review proper etiquette in calling one a snob. First - proper designation should be "unmitigated snob". Merely calling one a "snob" just identifies the caller as the snob. However, "unmitigated snob" raises the level to appropriate snobishness. And then - and I still can't figure this out - who is the true snob - the caller or the receiver?
jroth is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 325
Forgive me if this is a repetitive post. I stopped reading the thread about 1/3 through.

This is New York City. It has never and will never function like any city less its size and function on the world stage.

If it's not for you, you're not alone.

I live and SoHo and have to deal with tourists in your frame of mind often.
I'm sure we can all agree that just moving along with your socks and sandals to your next destination would be the best thing for all involved.
ciaony is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:36 PM.