Skipped work very early for another trip into New York City, only this time with a local (albeit of only a few years) to guide us around. Getting the train in we tried observing the way the conductors punched out the coloured cards that they placed on each seat so they knew how far each person had paid for. Variables are the colour of the card, number of punches, and number of cards in each seat. In some instances the place that the card had been punched also seemed to be important. We didn’t come up with anything… also they stop you from collecting these cards by retrieving them very diligently before you reach your station.
We ended up seeing much of Downtown Manhattan, as well as Greenwich Village, Central Park, and the Upper East Side. Some random factoids from the day:
- The subway was originally built as three different networks by different companies. This means that several lines basically duplicate routes, and that there are different sized trains for each network that can’t be interchanged.
- Downtown is full of Duane Reade pharmacies. What’s stranger is that the locals pronounce “Duane” as “Dwayne”.
- Wall St is an unimpressive back alleyway with big buildings on both sides. This explains why there are more photographs of the street signs than the street itself.
- Downtown streets are very dark and lifeless, because they’re so small, and because the buildings go straight up. Newer buildings, and those further North, are required to have gradual setbacks as they get higher to avoid this.
- The queues for the Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty) Ferry are enormous, and, I’m assured, not worth it.
- Every park has a big population of squirrels, or “tree rats”. As with the pigeons in Sydney, people feed them for no apparent reason.
- The hippies in Central Park don’t put in nearly as much effort on a weekday as they do on a Saturday afternoon.
- Donald Trump most likely has:
- a big ego, and
- something he’s compensating for.
- A good rule of thumb for judging the price of items in a shop is that the total value of the merchandise in a fixed floor area is constant.
- The Italian bakeries and cake/pastry shops are good 🙂
- “Oven-roasted nuts” from a street vendor are basically that, what they don’t mention is that they are roasted in craploads of sugar.