If you like Attitude (capital A please note) take yourself on a trip to New York. Yes people. New York New York – the Big Apple – the city that never sleeps. Here’s an idea. Don’t stay in Times Square or in the Village or on Park Avenue. If you want to meet the real New Yorkers go stay on the upper West Side where people actually live and play and shop and go buy kosher bagels and yummy lox cream cheese. These people take life seriously and don’t mind giving you their opinion. Take Nick – well Big Nick as he is known. His restaurant/diner whatever is in the ‘hood. To find a table there you might have to take a wander through the kitchen and past the storeroom. This ain’t no Starbucks and Nick makes that abundently clear with a large sign “No laptops – this is a restaurant, not a library”.
New York was full of surprises. The subway was amazingly efficient, easy and cheap and we used it until late at night. Wall Street was so tiny – disappointing really considering its influence. Times Square was unbelievably tacky and somehow strangely thrilling. A visit to the mega store My American Girl was extremely disturbing – they specialise in expensive 18 inch dolls chosen to look like the little girl owner with matching outfits and even a hair salon upstairs – for the dolls not the kids. Yes grown women paid to stand behind a counter and braid a doll’s hair or give it a manicure or pedicure. Bizarre. I found it rather sickening in today’s climate of starving children in Somalia – but I grow morose…..
The best part of New York was Little Italy. Now shrunk to just one street – but what a street. We nearly didn’t find it but after wandering around Chinatown and getting directions a couple of times we turned the corner and there it stood – oh wow. Pretty lights in the street, tables and chairs laid up with check cloths and candles and even serenading musicians. A wonderful evening.
So go to New York and enjoy all of it – its vulgarity, its charm, its vibe and mostly its people – it should be called the Big Heart rather than the Big Apple.