So, for those who’ve never been to New York City (even you veteran NYC travelers might learn something) ….
1) There is plenty of food. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Duh, Carol, of course there is tons of food in a city with a population of 8.406 million people (see how I snuck that fun fact in there?) But this was a real fear for me, so perhaps it is for others as well. Having never been to NYC, I’d heard stories about the crowds of people and lines everywhere. I was pretty sure I was going to have to stand in line for hours to buy even a hotdog and that ultimately I would probably starve. Happily, I discovered this was not the case. Not only does New York City live up to its reputation for serving some of the greatest food in the world, you don’t have to wait that long for it (except at Shake Shack, but that was TOTALLY worth it).
|Greek salad & sashimi tacos--one of Carol's favorite NYC meals.|
2) In New York City you can make a reservation for something, but that doesn’t mean whatever you were promised (and paid for) will ultimately be yours. Yep, I learned this one the hard way. After securing a “reservation” and receiving a "voucher" weeks in advance, I arrived at La Guardia late in the evening, anxious to get to my hotel and unwind. I had no worries because I was secure in the knowledge that I had a prepaid ride waiting for me. What I got was hours of waiting and promises of ‘soon’ and ‘shortly’. After what seemed like the hundredth call to the drivers, the man behind the desk informed me that they were canceling my reservation. When I asked him exactly how did they expect me to get to Manhattan at 1AM by myself, I was told to take a cab. True story. (And today I received an email request to "review" my experience with said shuttle company...can anyone guess how that's going to go?)
3) New Yorkers leave their garbage on the street for a reason. (I actually learned this interesting tidbit from Amy--she’s super smart and city savvy). There are no alleys in NYC like there are in many other big cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, so garbage is collected right off the street. And most streets do not have space for permanent dumpsters, not to mention a dumpster wouldn’t look or smell very attractive street-side--unless you’re a rat, which brings up yet another garbage issue... Garbage in NYC is a fascinating and controversial subject. I literally spent hours researching it and I could go on about rats, plastic bags versus trash cans, recycling, incinerators, and landfills, but I’ll let those of you who find garbage as interesting as I do Google the topic. (Come on…someone else must find this interesting..? Anyone?) Which brings me to another gripping question--would a garbage man make a compelling romantic hero?
4) Anyone who's seen Sleepless in Seattle must remember the scene at the top of the Empire State Building when Sam and Annie finally meet. It's so romantic. However, truth be told, there is nothing romantic about standing on an observation deck with hundreds of tourists taking selfies of themselves standing high above Manhattan. It's annoying. But, if you want some amazing views of the city without all the congestion, we suggest heading over to Rockefeller Center and visiting the Top of the Rock. We went there on a Sunday and it was almost too easy. No lines, no crowds, same great views, and no metal fences to make you feel like you're in a prison. Don't waste your money over at the Empire State Building - go to the TOP!
5) New York Cheesecake truly is the best. We know that sometimes what a city is famous for doesn't always turn out to be that amazing. People. Have you eaten this? In New York City? Never in our lives have we eaten cheesecake this creamy and delicious. It definitely lived up to the hype. First, we had some at the Harlequin Black & White Ball (and it was to die for) and then we had some at Junior's. This is the real deal.
|Top of the Rock (Ah, look at all that open space and those great views!)|
|Or Empire State |
|Go. Eat. Love.|