Monday, March 10, 2008

The 7 train, 9:30 am

Saint's Alp 011
Originally uploaded by mariacallas
What was I doing on the 7 two weeks ago? Going to the spa, of course. The 7 train is magic- it runs through oodles of immigrant neighborhoods. Get off at a stop anywhere along the line and you may find yourself in India, Greece or Haiti. I took it to the end of the line, so apparently I was going to Seoul, South Korea by way of Hong Kong or Shanghai. Heh. When I grew up in that section of Queens, the only place you could have seen was a very nice shtetl outside of Warsaw.

I was looking at this morning and was befuddled (yet again) as to why tourists look forward to coming to Manhattan (which they seem to think is all of 'New York') to look at each other in Times Square. One guy was even saying how McDonald's had the best hamburgers in NYC- he was from Texas (this was in answer to another ruben who wondered if McDonalds could be found here at all). Still another person was worried that he'd be killed the moment he got off the plane- he apparently didn't realize that New York is the safest large city in the US. But none of those posts were nearly as humorous as the squintillions of ones from people saying that they planned to see 'all the sights' in New York- in less than a week. Um- that's impossible. It would take a week to get through the Metropolitan Museum alone. Even if one went to all the usual tourist traps (oops, I mean sights) in Manhattan, that would take about a week and a half, not including Grant's Tomb, the Tenement Museum, and Katz's Deli. and pretty much none of these people mentioned the outer boroughs at all, which means no Prospect Park, no Green-Wood Cemetery, no Shea Stadium or Arthur Ashe Tennis Center, no Bronx Zoo, no Alice Adams House, no Kossar's Bagels, no Lemon Ice King of Corona. that also means no Jackson Heights (Mumbai on the Bay), no Brighton Beach (the westernmost outpost of the Black Sea Riviera), no Harlem (and no Schomburg Center or 125th Street), no Grand Army Plaza with gorgeous views, no nothing that makes New York one of the best damn places on earth. In NYC, you can travel the earth and never need more than a Metrocard. I feel sorry for tourists, but I suppose that as long as they'll allow themselves to be herded into the Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday's, that will just leave all the good food, fine beverages, interesting shops, and interesting social events to the rest of us.


Anonymous said...

Just warning you now that I'll be asking you for a suggested itinerary whenever I do get to come visit NY some day. You talk about such interesting places...

georg said...

I've been to NYC I dont know how many times, and I think I haven't seen any of the sites, except several plays. Well ok, I looked at the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry- but that's because I was staying with friends in Staten Island, and we took the ferry back to her place. She always offered the tourist traps, and I always refused.

I think one of my better memories is lost in Greewich Village, finding a pub where I had fantastic hot chocolate, and an astronomy lesson from the bartender. You don't get that on a tour.