I got back from my first trip to New York a week ago yesterday. The vacation seemed like it lasted 5 hours instead of 5 days. Jessica and I saw Wicked and Addams Family with Brooke Shields. Went to Comedy Cellar and saw Colin Quinn perform. I'm happiest that we didn't get mugged or stabbed once.
Here are some observations about the city:
*The restaurants are stingy with the drinks. Waiters weren't cool about giving free soda refills, or even asking whether you'd like to order another. This was true at an Irish Pub in Times Square -- although I was slyly upsold to a full-price refill -- a hipster health food joint in SoHo, a pizzeria in Little Italy and an Italian place in the Village. There must be some sort of NYC syrup shortage going on, and I guess I was glad to do my part to conserve.
*It's odd yet adorable how all the subway Metro card dispensaries tell you to "dip" your credit card to pay rather than slide it.
*Locals there weren't rude. They seemed to keep to themselves and not be abrasive or resentful of tourists' presence. Maybe because they're outnumbered by tourists.
*Everyone had enough money. I expected to be shaken down constantly by aggressive panhandlers, but the only time I was asked was at a Dunkin' Donuts by a polite kid.
*We had perfect weather, but I bet it sucks to live there if it's either hot or rainy. NYC is a utopia of public transportation, and it was a dream not to have to deal with cars. But all the necessary walking would make it tough to get around in extreme heat or snow.
*An earthquake, even a tiny little 5.8 variety that the city experienced a while before I got there, would be freaking terrifying if you were stuck on top of the Empire State Building or inside a subway stop at the time.
*It would really blow to have kids there. Everyone who had a kid in tow also sported a look of gloom and misery. Guess it's not much fun to lug a stroller up a set of subway stop stairs. By the way, NYC is the least wheelchair accessible city I've ever heard of. If you break a leg or lose the ability to walk, stick with Jersey, I guess.