After a long silence, this is my first post since I moved to New York City. There were too many things going on so I didn’t really get around to write any blog posts. First, I decided to put together some of my first impressions and hopefully soon I’ll follow-up with more (my Europe trip, upcoming Middle East etc.).
So 3 months ago I ended up in NYC. Some say the greatest city in the world (!?) .. but is it? I’ve been to NYC as a tourist several times before and I have always liked it. There are plenty of things going on, it is very multi-cultural, you can buy whatever you want (if you have the money for it), or go to see many different shows. At the same time it’s also very crowded, fast-paced and impersonal. I lived in many big cities (London, Bangkok, Mexico City) and so I was wondering how will my experience compare.
First weeks were definitely very positive… there are so many things to explore and plenty of things to indulge in. The city has a lot to offer and the time of the year was perfect to enjoy a beautiful summer in the city. In these three months I did a lot of exploring and and finding my way around the city. Here are some snippets of it.
As an introduction to NYC I went for a cruise / boat party that took us all around the island offering amazing views of New York, and for the cherry on to we sailed just passed the statue of liberty at sunset… beautiful…
NYC by area
NYC offers a lot of amazing neighbourhoods and each is unique in its own way. I decided to settle in Hell’s Kitchen as it is convenient for work and has lots of restaurants and bars. East Village is nice as it has a very different scene and is very green. However, one of my favourite parts of NYC is Central Park.
This vast area is such a unique urban space. It offers recreation and escape from the city, but also plenty of cultural events and sightseeing opportunities. But more importantly, a foll circle around the park is exactly 10 km.
One of my favourite spots in NYC is, in fact, in the middle of the Columbus circle roundabout, which is just at the entrance to the Central Park.
Running is a big part of my life and Central Park is definitely one of the best parks for running, but there are more excellent running opportunities in the city. Going for a long run from my home in Hell’s Kitchen to the Hudson river and then all the way down to the tip of Manhattan and then back up along the East River is particularly invigorating. There are some spectacular sights along the way, including the Brookilyn bridge
and the best part is that this loop is exactly a half-marathon
Food in NYC
There are innumerable restaurants for all sort of budgets. In general, eating out in NYC is not cheap, plus one needs to add the tax and tip, but one can have a slice of pizza for $5 almost on every corner, good and healthy lunch options for $15, mediocre dinners for $50 or Michelin star meals for $250… you name it. I have to say, service in general is nice, but nothing compared to Asian experience.
The best part in NYC is that there are communities from all over the world and a a consequence one can find any food on earth. Obviously, some are better some are worse. For example, I was quite disappointed with Mexican restaurants (maybe because I just arrived from Mexico). There might not be many typical American dishes, but some of my favourite NYC dishes are bagelsand pastrami sandwiches
Events in NYC
New York is full of events, from classical to popular culture. Possibly there are enough events fro every day of the year. I didn’t rush to see it all in the first months, especially because it was summer and nice to enjoy the great weather outside.
I went to see some musicals and other shows, but some of the most memorable ones were an opera at the Metand the Lady Gaga concert
There are so many other ‘educational’ institutions in NYC, especially museums. For example, the Intrepid offers a lot of military stuff, but you can also see a real BA concorde
Get out of the town
The summers in NYC are very hot, but the good news is that there are some relatively nice beaches a short way away. One of the typical NYC weekend getaways are on Long Island, such as Fire IslandThe Brox Botanical Gardens also offers a great escape from the concrete jungle, and this summer they had a really nice exhibition by Chihuly