If your main reason for not going on holiday is that you hate leaving the city, start packing. New York has all of the buzz of the 852, and maybe a bit more, plus it’s got an islands-mainland set-up like our own beloved hometown, a fantastic skyline, great food from a huge range of cuisines ... Wait, if it’s so much like HK, why should we go, I hear you cry?
Well, pupketeers, NYC is like a HK on energy drinks. It is alive!
While nothing, nothing, is as efficient as the mighty MTR, the New York Subway might just come second. Only in terms of efficiency, mind you; be prepared for some pretty grotty stations. But the maps are very clear, and you shouldn’t have a problem getting around underground.
But one of the best things about the Big Apple is that it’s really, really easy to walk around, even for a pup like me! The streets are laid out in a grid pattern, so it is never difficult to match where you are on a map to where you are IRL. (I wonder if that makes playing Pokemon easier ...) As long as the weather is good, and you stop for breaks, you can walk from Wall Street in the south to Harlem in the north in a day, just taking in the sights.
One of my favourite ways of getting around the city (I believe in embracing touristhood; why pretend to be local when everything you see is incredible?!) is a hop-on, hop-off bus, especially if you sit on the top deck. Not only do you get to see buildings without people blocking your way, the tour guides are always really interesting and funny, and best of all, have suggestions of what food to try.
What’s so great about it?
Everything you think you know about New York, from TV, films , songs and books, is just a percentage of what it’s like in reality. It is so buzzy! Everyone has so much energy, and you can feel it in the air.
There is also just so. Much. Food. Food from every region of the world! If you’ve ever wondered what Ethiopian, West Indian, Russian, Peruvian ... (the list is endless) food is like, New York is the place to find out.
In the US, like in most countries, you have to pay sales tax. What’s annoying about a lot of US states is that they don’t add the tax to the price tag, so what you think you’re paying when you pick up your stash of Reese’s Pieces is not what you’ll be charged!
While NYC is a pretty safe place, it’s NOT HK. It’s best not to go wandering around dark areas late at night on your own.
Other cool things
- New York is a tail-waggingly good place for art and culture. There are amazing museums, especially the ones that focus on a particular sector of American society. The galleries host some of the most famous paintings in the world. And if you love theatre, nothing beats Broadway (join the TKTS queue in Times Square to buy cheap tickets for a random show you didn’t realise you wanted to see).
- Food trucks are more of a West Coast thing, but NYC has always had its food carts. Start your day with coffee and a bagel, grab a hot dog or shawarma for lunch, and a pretzel for an afternoon snack.
- Central Park is a gigantic green space in the middle of Manhattan. It’s great for dogs and people alike, with loads of room to run around, or roll in the grass. Pack a picnic and enjoy the view of the skyline.
- The Highline is a fairly new addition to the city. It used to be a train track, but it was turned into a super-cool stretch of parkland, eateries and shops.
- You can once again go up into the crown of the Statue of Liberty (it was closed for many years after 9/11), which gives you a great view of the city. For the best view of Lady Liberty herself, get on the Staten Island Ferry, and sail right past. Bonus: that ferry is free!
Did I mention the food?