But for the most part, my time in The Big Apple was free time. That meant sight seeing, eating, walking, experiencing and having a blast. I did as much as possible for one guy to do in the time I had. I walked over 50 kms while I was there. I went as high as Central Park, as low as Ground Zero and hit the water on the east and west side.
Being on foot in a city like New York is a must. It allows you to get your bearings. It gives you a real sense of where everything is located. I had little problem figuring out the streets and where I was going. I admit I used my Google Maps a few times, but for the most part, I did a great job of just figuring it out on my own. Plus it is always fun just to explore without a destination.
I saw a lot of cool things. I witnessed New Yorkers doing their thing. I had to deal with some very annoying trends.
Here are five things I liked and disliked about my first time in New York City.
New York Likes
- Stoops. It was one of the first things I noticed as I was driven to my hotel. The stoops that are so common in TV shows and movies. Rows and rows of Brownstones, each with a stoop that I could picture myself sitting on in the summer.
- The Energy. No matter where you went, it was electric. The pace was fast, people had a purpose and it was fun to join the masses. I am a fast walker, so I fit right in.
- Central Park. I have always bragged about how much I love High Park in Toronto. But walking into Central Park was like nothing I have ever seen. Surrounded by the city on all sides, but sitting in a relaxed green space was quite special. I can’t wait to take the boys there one day.
- The bridges. Flying in, it was so cool to see all the bridges. I miss Halifax for this reason. The Brooklyn Bridge looks as cool as it does on TV. It was also a bonus to go over one on the car ride back to the airport.
- Pizza. It was my mission to have some classic New York pizza. I had two amazing slices on my last day. The crust was perfect, the sauce was clearly homemade and the atmosphere in the pizza shop was everything I dreamed it would be.
New York Dislikes
- Selfie Sticks. Can we rid the planet of these things now? I was blown away by how many people were waving these things around. They were sold of street corners. They were close to hitting people at major landmarks, they are destined to fill Value Village for years to come.
- Extra Height. I went up the Empire State Building. I paid to hit the 86th floor like everyone else. But I fell for the extra cost of going to the 120th floor. It was not worth it for photographs as you are enclosed with dirty glass. Save the 20 bucks.
- My Hotel. It was in a great location, but it was not my thing. The Ace Hotel catered to young and hip kids, mostly dudes. It was a hipster, male dorm with free wi-fi and way too many groomed beards. The bed was short, the shower was tiny and there was zero natural light.
- Data shortage. I got killed on my data even though I was using #RoamLikeHome from Rogers. Not your fault New York, but it was a definite dislike.
- My Stomach. It was not big enough. I want to go back with the metabolism I had at 18. Too many times I got full and had to tap out. I had some amazing BBQ, burgers, fried chicken, fancy food and pizza. I still feel full.