New York in the Spring.

March 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm (Uncategorized)

I think I’ve broken the curse of New York.

I usually end up in New York about once a year, but quite often the trips are accompanied by misfortune, albeit of a fairly mundane sort: Blackouts, cancelled flights, illness and injury (I fell while getting off a bus, and no, I hadn’t been drinking that much). This past weekend’s visit went swingingly though.

Of the three dates I spent in New York, Monday was the only day I got to go into Manhattan. I usually stay on Staten Island, so the trip begins with the ferry, which, if you’ve never been to New York is a great experience: A free twenty-minute trip between the Manhattan and Staten Island and a great view of the city.

Whenever I visit different cities, I like to walk. Walking just gives you a better feel for the city. and given that the temperature was a balmy 8 degrees, it was just perfect for shank’s pony.

When I got off the ferry, I walked up to Bowling Green and then up Broadway into Soho and beyond. My trip up Broadway concluded with a stop at the Strand Bookstore which I always find just too large to navigate.

The only thing I was instructed to do on the trip was to go to the American Girl store at 5th Avenue and 49th Street. For whose of you who have the good fortune not to know what American Girl is, it’s a high-end doll, which my daughter persuaded us to buy for her or Christmas. I broke my rule about walking and took a cab for the almost forty blocks from the Strand to the American Girl outlet. I won’t reveal how much I spent, but my daughter should be pleased on her birthday later this month.

One day, I’m planning to go to India. My wife, who was born in India, doesn’t really want to go with me, as she suspects, perhaps rightly, that the assault on the sense that is India might be too much for my delicate self.  I once thought that visiting New York might be a gentle intro, but it isn’t.

New York has a reputation for being dangerous. It’s undeserved. It’s one of the safest cities around. It also has a reputation for rudeness. That too is apparently undeserved as during the numerous pedestrian collisions I witnessed yesterday, no one was unaccompanied by an apology. My cab driver was crazy though.  

What New York does do  is to remind me how small Toronto is. Whenever I come back home, I’m struck by how quiet it is, and how, well, ordered things are. I suppose people coming to Toronto from smaller cities in Canada have that same feeling. It is a great city. And I won’t resort to the cliché on the t-shirt, but it’s true.

Same time next year then?



  1. gmacmedia said,

    I’ll must remember to contact you for traveller’s tips before we hit NYC in the fall.

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