The New York subways were easy compared to Paris. I loved the hotel I was at. I read about it in the Pioneer Press as an affordable place to stay in New York. The Pod - an artdeco sort of place. Small rooms with a bed, desk, and sink. Bathrooms down the hall. The only thing I didn't like - the doors were so new that the locks were loud. You could hear everytime someone walked out to the hallway to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
|Studio room at the Pod|
|Lobby at the Pod|
Over the next two days, I rode the subway a lot, (loved the underground wall art!) took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, walked down Broadway, visited Ground Zero, walked through a tiny bit of Central Park, Washington Square, NYU, Battery Park and went up to the observation deck in the Rockefeller Center.
I didn't have to walk far to get meals. On the corner there was a place that reminded me of Café Latte (on Grand in St. Paul) with its two levels, but it also had a grocery store. On my last night I decided to go out for a nice relaxed dinner. I didn't really want to eat by myself though. I met this woman on the elevator in my hotel and then I walked around the block looking for a restaurant. I ran into this woman again in front of a Thai restaurant on the other side of the block, and I told her I was looking for some place that was not a bar. She was doing the same. Since she was by herself I asked if she'd be willing to share a table with me. We had a great time.
Another thing about New York is that people have a sense of pride – a good pride. From the suited businessman having a gourmet lunch in Battery Park to the guy with the thick accent behind the counter in Ess-a-Bagel on 3rd Street who called me Babe, everyone is important. Even the trash collectors seem to have a certain pride about where they live, who they are, and what they do. Of course this may be different than in the days before 911.
I keep thinking about my own Twin Cites, and I suppose in a way we have a little bit of that pride. There's a lot of different cultures and many thriving arts communities although the flavor of it is somewhat different. We don't have a subway, but we have a light rail, and supposedly we're #1 in the country for biking paths. And sometimes I take the lakes for granted even though they attract mosquitoes.
I'm wondering how the central corridor light rail will change the nature of the city. The construction is a major inconvenience, but already there are several dance studios along University and the existing Raymond/University art crawl venue will probably expand. Something to look forward to in the next couple of years.
|Mosaic art on one of the subway walls|