Monday, December 31, 2007

5 Days in New York New York!

First impressions of New York's grandeur were great but less than the stunning Sex & The City feel . With all the televised hype of Manolo Blaniks, high class fashion boutiques, gourmet coffee shops, and modern flair, you can imagine the extent of my shock as I rode the run-down, bum ridden, dirty subway and squished my way through the multipurpose entrance/exit doors. Not a Singapore MRT for sure!

My experience in a teeny little 400 square foot apartment on the Upper East Side (normally shared by two people) definitely brought to light Sex & the City's fictional flair. Really, even a popular columnist with ten credit cards couldn't afford a one bedroom at over $3000 rent!

While houses are non-existant except in the suburbs, and a $3000 per month apartment is half the size of my one bedroom, the culture, creativity and diversity of entertainment may make up for the crowded urban frenzy. Brooklyn Heights high- priced stylish homes look like they stepped out of 1930's movies. Parts of Manhattan are definitely home to classy dressers and fashionistas, the majority of New Yorkers do not fit this description, as the baseball cap and army jacket clad man on the subway brought to my attention.

"All you tourists stick around Manhattan and never see the real New York. Manhattan is fake, they all judge you for your appearance, think I'm gonna rob them cuz I dress like this. Not me, I got tons of money, just want to dress like this. Why don't you tourists go visit the Bronx, see some real New York?"

Needless to say...I had an interesting 20 minute conversation with this man A quiet conversation, seeing as he didn't seem to be the type to argue with. Even after a creepy man in a similar "non-Manhattan" outfit offered to buy me a plane ticket back to New York so I didn't leave town...ugh! Gotta love the subway talk!

Jerry's Grand Tour on Saturday brought a local yet touristy viewpoint to my first full day in New York. With his classic New Yorker accent and years of city experience, he took us on his 16 hour city walking tour through Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island, Chinatown, Little Italy, Wall Street, Lower East Side and Battery Park.

After the next morning's tour of the Empire State and the UN Building, Macy's department store, Rockefeller Centre, a glimpse of 5th Avenue glamour, and a ridiculously cheap Anne Klein jacket at a designer boutique...I felt the New York excitement start to fulfill me. Really, with all the Broadway shows, events, concerts, and shopping...maybe sacrificing the space for entertainment isn't such a bad idea!

Check out the slide show to see my tourist pics. Don't miss my next entry, another mini slide show ahead!

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