My job had me traveling again earlier this week. This time to a quick conference in New York City. It was my first time visiting and after dreaming about going since I was a preteen I was very excited that the chance had finally arrived. Even though I only had a few spare hours to enjoy myself in the city that never sleeps, I can’t believe the amount of fun I had. I also learned some things during my visit. Some things I expected and others that surprised me.
First and foremost, it really does smell like urine. I had really hoped this had been over-exaggerated, but, sadly, it was true. It didn’t smell everywhere, but compared to what I’m used to, it was fairly widespread. And the most interesting part was I never could tell where it was coming from. Suddenly I’d walk into the smell and look around and there was no hint as to where the smell was coming from. New York and her mystery smells.
There seems to be a lot more panhandlers in Salt Lake City than there are in New York City. I’m sure that there are more total panhandlers in NYC because, well, it’s huge. But I did a fair amount of walking and there weren’t nearly the number of people with signs asking for money. And not a single person in NYC actually came up to me and asked for spare change. On the flip side, I walked less than three blocks in downtown Salt Lake City recently and was asked by three separate people if I had any money I could spare. I really didn’t expect that difference.
Among the many things Carrie Bradshaw lied to me about life in NYC, walking around in heels is one of them. I wore a very basic pair of nude pumps to the conference because I knew I’d be taking a cab to and from the conference. However, the scenery got the best of me and I found myself thinking over and over “Just one more block, then I’ll grab a cab.” But every single block got me curious about the next. And if I hadn’t decided to walk I wouldn’t have caught my first glimpse of Times Square. But by the time I finally made it the 1.6 miles from the Times Center to the hotel I was in some serious pain. However, that brings me to my next point…
There is no better reason for blisters than walking the streets of NYC. The architecture is beautiful and seems to go on forever. The people watching is the most entertaining I’ve ever experienced. Every single block has something worth seeing and I definitely think I saw the best of it by walking. Even if my feet still hurt two days later.
Hailing a cab for the first time really is the coolest feeling. Growing up in Small Town, UT, I’d only ever seen people hail taxis on TV. I’m well aware that it’s not an unusual thing for most people, but the simple act of walking up to the edge of the sidewalk, holding up my hand, getting in a cab, and rattling off my destination like I knew what I was talking about (thanks to some great coaching from my cousin) was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. You can take the girl out of the small town…
I’m convinced that the painted lines on the road are just there for aesthetics. I couldn’t help but sit in the back of the taxi and laugh as I watched cars just drive wherever they wanted, designated lanes be damned!
I really love my mountains.