i heart NY…

By amy ~ March 7th, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

And hello from Terminal 2, JFK airport – the least temperamental wifi so far this week in fact, the promised free connection at the hotel eventually and after much panic-stricken hand wringing coming the way of the ubiquitous plastic boxed Ethernet cable, once I had cast my mind back to yesteryear and remembered what one was and what it was for. Unbelievably, this process took the better part of twenty four hours, a period during which I have undoubtedly made myself extremely popular with the good folk at O2 who are in charge of my (UK) BlackBerry.

My first visit to New York has been everything from predictably fabulous, enlightening and entertaining to hugely frustrating at the start at least, courtesy of a new breed of timewaster, or rather an entirely familiar one as far as the ordinary newbie would be concerned (unfortunately it has been so long since I have had to deal with these types on any sort of a regular basis, it would appear my spider-senses are blunter than usual – I blame the jet lag). For my part, I had attempted to allow for a certain quota of cultural differences in terms of making punting arrangements (the obvious one from my side being the requisite screening/verification thanks to the bizarrely puritannical legal system), since naturally we are on a different continent (and despite surface appearance, the parties involved are speaking two different languages) but this unfortunately was to be my downfall for the first twenty four hours, whereupon I rediscovered my Britishness, dished out a few polite(ish, er, well, OK) ‘refusals’ and got on with the business of enjoying myself, with the help of some delightful callers who (to my relief) were happily intent on doing likewise.

Let any lady reading who may be tempted to hop over the Atlantic labour under no illusions: firstly, and most hearteningly, a punter is a punter is a punter, and the punters of New York are wonderful, in exactly the type of intelligent, friendly and charmingly self-effacing way one might expect (and moreover, are certainly appreciative of curvy English ladies). Secondly, and entirely predictably when one thinks about it, a timewaster is a timewaster is a timewaster. The one-line emailers, the non-readers (I fancy spending the price of a weekend city break, but I can‘t be bothered to even find out what I‘m spending it on), the ditherers (I-DEFINITELY-want-to-see-you-but-can’t-commit-to-a-time-just-yet-because-I’m-sooooo-busy-and-important-you-see) and above all the ‘now!’ brigade are alive and kicking and residing on other small islands everywhere. Which in a way is almost reassuring, although if somebody had told me that last Wednesday evening I would have had a few choice words to input. Thank God for cheesecake.

More reassuring still was the discovery that New York is – to all intents and purposes – just London after a bit of inward squashing, and the hallowed traditions with regard to using public transport, ordering takeaway food, crossing busy roads and generally conveying oneself along the public footpaths are identical to our own, although not, it would seem, identical to those in other parts of the US unless I was just unlucky enough to get wedged behind the human equivalents of Slowpoke Roderiguez and his equally slackjawed female counterpart (in matching leisurewear, God preserve us) every time I set foot outside my hotel room. As a result, the constant underlying not-quite-enraged-yet feeling had me settling in immediately and the joyful discovery that the playing of traffic-Frogger is also embraced in Manhattan was enough to make me feel very much at home straight away. And this is before we even broach the subject of portion sizes, the subway system, the absence of VAT and other new favourite things…

Since at the time of (hurried) writing I have the red-eye to catch and by the time this auto-publishes I will have been awake for some 30 odd hours, this is not yet the place for a full breakdown. I will fill in details during the week, but for now – thank you and goodnight, New York! It’s been a real, REAL pleasure.

More soon.

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