Thursday, January 17, 2008

NY in a nutshell

The Empire State Building.
An old up and coming neighborhood.
A yellow cab.
A fire truck.
And a bicycle messenger.
All in one shot.
New York at its most compact.
Which is how this city often feels.
So big, but still peculiarly small at times.

The fact that so much of the city is vertical actually makes it very livable.
As opposed to what many city planners in other parts of the world may think.
It ensures there's always a lot of people in the street.
The verticality keeps the street and the neighborhoods alive.
There's business for a lot of small businesses.

This is perhaps why New York feels as safe at night as it does daytime.
Which is not something you can say for most cities of size.

Tourists are still surprised about how safe the Metro is.
The stations may not look like much, old as most of them are.
Although most of the graffiti is long gone.
The fact that the train cars are almost always
relatively full makes even a late night ride feel perfectly okay.
I don't get that feeling in say Stockholm, or Paris.

It's easy to love New York.
Especially if you come from Europe loaded with heavy duty Euros.
The taxis got a price hike about a year ago,
still, compared to Europe it's a bargain.

But New York is really made for walking.
It's small enough horizontally.

If you don't like to walk,
hang on a corner for a while and New York will pass by.
Just keep your eyes open.


-K- said...

"Keep your eyes open" indeed.

That's a wonderful photo.

T said...

thanks. Especially nice coming from a sharp-shooter as yourself.