"Tvor in New York" New York City by tvor

New York City Travel Guide: 15,944 reviews and 32,187 photos

We're going to New York!

Below you can read my impressions of New York City the first time I went there, in 1998. We've just got back from a four day visit (2013) and had a great time! We did a lot of sightseeing using tour busses and our feet. We bought many tickets and passes online including theatre tickets at a discount site. The weather was good and bad but more sun than rain. Trying to get out of Newark airport to go home was a pain in the bum and it doesn't half put you off traveling through the U.S. but we may go back again sometime.

I was in New Jersey on a course in August 1998 and took a couple of trips in to Manhattan on the bus.

Big, fast, crowded, and yes, dirty. Not too smoggy though and I didn?t see a lot of litter around. We didn?t look too closely at the unidentifiable puddles in the gutters when you know it hadn?t rained in some time! When I am asked what I thought of New York, my first answer is ?Colourful?! I don?t just mean it?s inhabitants either. I mean there is a lot more colour than you would expect for a city consisting of so much concrete, steel and flesh! The streets are filled with endless streams of bright yellow cabs. There are big, bright billboards on and between buildings. There are brightly coloured advertisements in shop windows. There are flags and banners hanging from stores, museums and public buildings. Many people are dressed in bright colours and the sidewalks are dotted with news agents selling newspapers and magazines. And let?s not forget the frequent food vendors and fruit and vegetable markets with their bright canopies and umbrellas.

My second impression is the constant smell. Now, it?s not a bad smell. Well, not all the time. As you walk the streets, you are constantly walking in and out of one smell after another...perfume from people or stores, garbage, diesel fuel from busses and subway vents, food cooking, people, freshly cut grass, the scent of a flower bed and car exhaust.

The pace of the city is so much faster than I am used to, too and you find yourself speeding up to keep up! Not too many cars use signal lights... the car horn seems to be the weapon of choice but traffic lights seem to be more than just a suggestion. You will see a few cars run the red when it first turns but then, generally, the cars hold back and let the cross traffic take their turn. I took two taxis and both drivers quickly but competently dodged traffic and safely manoeuvered the lanes. I had heard horror stories about taxi drivers but I guess I got lucky. They were both ok. I decided not to brave the subway this trip as it seemed too intimidating to try to figure out how to get where I wanted to go and stay alert, minding all the cautions I had been told and had read about.

We went up the Empire State Building at dusk, walked back to the Port Authority terminal, crossing 7th Avenue a block below Times Square, blazing with lights! I loved the Met museum and did a little look around on a hot Saturday afternoon. Would i go back? Maybe.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:exciting, fast paced, lots to do and see, flat and walkable, good subway system
  • Cons:very large, intimidating, expensive.
  • In a nutshell:Wall to wall concrete, steel and flesh. bright, brash, loud, exciting
  • Last visit to New York City: May 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (4)

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:26 AM

    I'd like to visit New york some day. Lovely photos. Irene

  • Oct 13, 2004 at 11:17 AM

    Actually, the biggest peril in looking up in NYC is not the mugging, etc it's the pigeons! Or the condensation dripping from air conditioners above you! Look up all you want, just wear sunglasses.

  • Christophe_Ons's Profile Photo
    Apr 6, 2004 at 4:16 AM

    A nice intro to New York, some good observations. Regards, Chris.

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2003 at 4:43 PM

    I share a lot of your impressions of NY, though I didn't find it to be as scary now as I did on a previous visit. Things felt quite safe, believe it or not! And right now the city is unbelievably green, speaking of color. I was amazed.


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