… it’s a wonderful town! The Bronx is up and The Battery’s down” ,,, Well, the song got it right, it is a great place to visit; and provided you’re prepared to do a bit of walking, and the weather’s reasonably kind, you can see most of the tourist bits in just a few days.
AirBnb has provided us with an excellent base in Park Slope in the heart of Brooklyn and after an initial struggle getting the hang of the subway system (which involved one short trip in completely the wrong direction) we’ve managed to find our way around pretty well. That said, the best way of getting to see and understand the city is unquestionably on foot; that’s if you’re prepared to wear out a little bit of shoe leather – the distances are deceptive and unfortunately the sidewalks aren’t paved with gold.
My initial impression is that New York is clean safe and welcoming. Yes, you see some pretty strange people out and about, but that’s certainly the same in London or any large European city and provided you can manage to avoid the ticket touts who seem to outnumber the tourists on Broadway and Fifth Avenue, wandering around is fairly relaxed.
You can’t help but be impressed by some of the architecture and, even though you rapidly get blasé about skyscrapers that are a mere 50 storeys high, the likes of the Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building and the new One World Trade Centre give you a real sense of what New York is all about … as well as a pain in the neck!
No disappointments so far – though from the distance of the Staten Island Ferry the Statue of Liberty seemed to be smaller than I’d imagined it to be. But then, American visitors to Stonehenge probably expect something a little more impressive than a rockery on steroids!
As today looks as though its going to be a little overcast the plan is to see what the museums, gardens and parks of Brooklyn have to offer.