Taking advantage of the extended Memorial Day weekend, I tacked on an extra day and winged it away from the West Coast for a weekend in New York City. What a place; I had visited in my early twenties, but it makes a major difference when you have local friends to visit and, crucially, a credit card.
First impression: the people are far more friendly and polite than I realised. Ticket collectors forgave my mistakes on the trains, strangers waved me towards the correct subway stop, people held doors open for me and random acts of kindness and humour caught me off-guard. The combination of awe-inspiring vertical scale, surprisingly large horizontal distances needed to traverse the place and warped sense of horizon and perspective, combined with these little bits of humane magic, make for an addictive combination.
I managed to spend a solid chunk of time with some great people. Yes, people, I have New York friends; Mia and Brian of San Francisco fame, and then Matt Landman, who I know through Ken in Taiwan, and had only ever met once in an evening of insane metal and rock.
Highlights: getting caught on the ferry in the rain and walking up Manhattan using the freeways as shelter, an evening on top of ’30 Rock’ – The Rockefeller Center, and wandering through Brooklyn, fire hydrants opened up to drench the local kids with cooling water. Did I mention how hot the weather was?
Since New York is about half way back to London (insane, no?), I can imagine I will be back here soon.