This is the first time I’ve been to New York, and it’s been more than what I expected. As with many people, I’ve known New York from books, television, film and every other type of media.
I’ve heard people say New York City is the centre of the universe. I now know it’s true.
I’ve also heard friends who’ve said “New York toughens you up”, and “it’s a brash place”, which I misinterpreted to mean that people here are rude and cold. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Bar one stressed out transient investment banker type cyclist in Lower Manhattan screaming profanities at a homeless man, everyone has been pleasant and polite. While pushing Kai’s pram around the city, I’ve had people holding doors for me, giving way, and at one time, letting Kai jump queue at the gents’. Then again, Kai was shouting, “my poo poo is coming out, my poo poo is coming out”.
The squirrels though, are another matter. They are bold. Singapore squirrels scurry up trees and lampposts when you approach. NYC squirrels eyeball you and approach you with impunity when they see you eating a sandwich, especially a meat sandwich. On our first day in the city, we took a walk in Central Park, and witnessed a man having to leave his park bench because a squirrel looked like it was about to pounce on the pastrami and rye that he was holding.
While we’re not the usual tourists – we don’t have to see the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building up close – we’ve got a show to catch and a meal (we’ll have what she’s having) to have at Katz’s in the coming days, and maybe return to some of the magnificent museums which we’ve only explored a touch of.