I've never been to New York City before. Usually when I tell people in my AJ program this, I get shocked expressions and faces full of disbelief.
I think it's a Chicago thing. NYC is kind of our rival. We love beating down New York. Chicagoans are very fond of comparing and saying how gross and dirty NYC is due to their lack of alley ways. I'm the first person in my entire family to ever go there. My Mom told me how proud she was that I was going to the place with a hint of disgust in her voice. My Aunt and Uncle work for United Airlines and US Air and have been all over the world... never NYC. I've been a self-proclaimed hater of the place even though I've never been there. There's a flatlanded pride about Chi-Town that my Midwest has, so I've always been apprehensive about the Big Apple.
I expected the place to be like the Chi (pronounced shy, not like chai) but on a grander scale. I know skyscrapers and Lake Michigan is comparable to an ocean to me. I know crazy cabbies and wet cement sidewalks. I know business men in their suits who are always walking around in a hurry.
What Chicago lacks, and this pains me to say, is the fashion factor. NYC is the fashion capital of the country. Duh. People scour the streets devoted to taking shots of street fashion for their blogs and websites (see a previous post about BILL from the NYT). Chi is usually full of day trippers donning their City Clothes or regulars in sweatpants running out to Dunkin' Donuts for their daily cuppa. I feel like neither of these would be acceptable in NYC. You have to dress the part always or else you don't really belong.
The articles of clothing that I noticed the most on the street were fur hats. Fabulously swank fur hats on ladies with long coats. Unfortunately most of them walked past me before I had the chance to get my camera ready.
So far, I've only seen the Chelsea hood and areas that didn't seem too terribly “inner city” to me. I guess I expected the city to be taller... but I haven't been to the huge skyscraper zones yet. Other highlights of the day included:
-lovely train ride next to the Hudson River
-walking on the High Line
-terrifying cab rides
-finding a Starbucks hidden inside a swank BMW and Volo dealership
-VIP front row seats at The Daily Show, seeing their office area, and talking the Emmy award winning head writer Steve Bodow