New York recap

New York city was great. That's a rather vague assessment, to be sure, but it's the best I have at the moment. Since this was my first experience of America's version of Paris, London, Moscow, Tokyo, etc., my impression of the city is incredibly limited. I saw two broadway musicals -- more on that later -- ate at some good restaurants, visited the American Museum of Natural History, wandered through some expensive and/or really cool stores, and hailed my first (and second, third, and fourth) taxi. All in all, not a bad way to start.

First, my disappointments. (1) I did not see the Metropolitan Museum of Art as I had intended. That was the one major site that I wanted to visit, but unfortunately, Amy and I were given incorrect information by the concierge at the hotel. He said it was open on Monday morning. Wrong. The art museum is never open on Mondays. As a result, he cost us time, money, and energy walking around the city and through Central Park. Our backup was the AMNH, which was very enjoyable -- but not art. (2) I was unable to see Monty Python's Spamalot, the one broadway show I desperately want to see before I leave the area. Since it only just came out in the past year, I'm pretty sure I will have time to see it in the months to come. (3) The subway is not nearly as useful and expansive as London's underground, which was very disappointing. I was expecting something very similar, in which the subway can take you almost anywhere you want to go in the city. But that is not the case in NY, unfortunately. Stops are generally quite spread out, and some important sections of Manhatten are left untouched. Consequently, I only road the subway once during those four days. (4) While no fault of New York's, the constant rain was a definite low point of the trip.

Highlights? (1) Seeing the city from the top of the Empire State building; (2) seeing two excellent broadway shows--Hairspray and Phantom of the Opera; (3) eating great Thai food and having lunch with Amy at a posh, hip Euro-ecclectic style restaurant before returning home; (4) staying a nice hotel in a very nice location; and (5) having the entire trip paid for by loving, generous grandparents!

My final comment: Staying in London made me feel like I belong in a big city, but staying in New York made me feel like I belong in the suburbs. Now this might be a premature assessment, considering this was my first trip. Nevertheless, the two cities give off very different vibes, and I'm not sure, in the long run, which is the more desireable.