Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Thoughts about New York and America

Rather than producing a list of things that I have done or not done I thought a kind of overview of my thoughts might be more interesting.

1. It is raining, heavy rain with thunderstorms. Firstly this causes a plague of umbrella sellers to appear from somewhere and they do a riproaring trade in a population who don't wear much and don't go prepared, Overall the weather has been about 80 with a 100% humidity meaning that the whole area was sweaty, close and a fraction unpleasant. I guess the umbrella sellers were watching the weather channel (yes a dedicated channel for the NY weather) which gives very accurate predictions but mostly didn't come true. I blame Sarah as she said it would hot and sunny. I also noticed that Texas have had an usually wet summer and the Dakotas have temperatures in the 100's so not just Europe that is unseasonal. Also there is no guttering on buildings I have seen so far - is this an English phenom?

2. There are no small cars in New York. The smallest are bigger than a large family car in Europe such as Nick's.

3. Televisions in lifts - with a better picture than the one in my room!

4. New York has the reputation for being rude but it is not direct but more a self absorption to the exclusion of other people around them. A example of this was I was standing in line in a store (that's queueing in a shop) and I would have been in front of the door so I left a gap which the person behind jumped into getting served first. After it happened a second time I then stood in the doorway to get served and when someone tried to get in I was in the way. No-one seemed to realise that the gap was deliberate as it was all about getting served as quickly as they could. There were other examples but this one stood out.

5. Sight-seeing skyscrapers is tricky as you need to be far enough away to appreciate them but close enough to see the details which can be intricate. I like the flatiron building the most as it is triangular in a city where every other buildings is uniformally square.

6. The design of building in blocks mean that there are no gaps so the rubbish has to be stored on the sidewalk as there is no rear to a lot of the buildings.

7. TV adverts for pile creams, erectile disfunction tablets and which is the best hospital seem strange.

8. The bills are longer and narrower so doesn't push into my wallet as easily as UK money.

9. Arena football, American football but smaller, quicker and indoors looks amazing.

10. There is a very visible police presence in Manhatten with about 2 police offices in foot and 1 car per block. Not sure how effective it is but it makes you feel safer.

11. Lamps have a twist on/off button which is a bit odd as you have to turn a rotational motion into a lateral motion.

Overall New York is a good place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

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