As I told you in previous posts and on facebook and instagram, the first week of October I was in a city that I always hoped to visit since I was a child. The city that most of all represents the much loved American dream that maybe today it’s not so shiny. I’m talking about the Big Apple, New York. Before leaving I had a lot of expectations towards the city, because I had seen thousands of photos and video of New York, so I already had an imagine of an hypothetical New York. I left with my family, to celebrate 25 years of my parents’ marriage. We were so I, my girlfriend Martina, my mother, my father, my sister and her husband and my other sister. Getting to our destination is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the trip. From Florence, by car we reached Milan Malpensa, from there two hour flight to Madrid, then 3 hours in airport later plane nine hours to JFK airport. Once landed, and having tasted with calm the long-awaited american air, we headed to our hotel in Brooklyn.
Today, however, I don’t want to tell the itinerary of my trip. I will quietly devoting an article for each day spent in New York, telling you what I saw and the tour realized so that if you want you can follow my own steps. In this post what I want to tell you is my impression of New York, what struck me for better or for worse.
Clearly I can only start from the buildings of New York. The first thing I did, when I arrived in New York and I came out from the subway, was looking up to admire the sea of skyscrapers that rise high in the sky. A view that does not exist where I come from. So I walked and photographed skyscrapers. Then the hours passed and I realized that the first skyscrapers in reality were simple buildings in comparison to the giant buildings like Empire State Building, Top of The Rock, Freedom Tower, etc ..
Another aspect of New York that struck me right away as soon as I started walking was the smell. A smell of constant change, in a way there was a smell in the street after already there was another, the way after another. A once mingled odors. Smells of food, road works, the discharges of the machines, and so on. A mix that conveys a sense of dynamism that has New York. Everywhere you look you can always see busy people walking fast on sidewalks or crossing intersections of race. A very active city, which does not deny his nominations. New York is the city that never sleeps. Times Square the evening shines with all its insignia and its lights. Taxis illuminate the street and avenue. The skyline of New York City on water projects its migliagia with large windows and color black night sky. Another thing that was felt in New York is his greatness, a city with 8 million inhabitants that covers a much larger area than those of European cities. The feeling that I had, even looking at the cutting edge shops and huge skyscrapers, was to be on top of the world, why I chose as a symbol photo the photo I chose as the cover.
Of New York I also loved the people, which seemed to me enough polite and civil. Maybe most of them go too fast, it seems that the world is about to end. But despite this, the majority of them are willing to help you and give you a hand. In addition, although there are the homeless, these don’t seem to be rude, and you don’t breathe an air of crime or danger, as often happens here in the big italian cities. In addition in many places there are various street artists, that carry on their work promoting music disk, books, photographs, paintings or creating ballets and performances. Then in New York you can dress up in the strangest ways and walk quietly, people don’t look at you, perhaps because disinterested or perhaps because busy. I saw people dressed in a very strange way and walk peacefully without being looked bad by nobody, while in Italy would be a focus of attention.
Then the food, so much food. Restaurants with cuisines from around the world who alternated and that allow you such a wide choice that you can’t choose.Plus, further the wide variety of choice, in New York you can also count on full dishes. Don’t be afraid of the price, because you’ll receive a dish with huge portions. Sometimes unfortunately too big, and a lot of people leave too many leftovers into dishes. This is maybe the main downside of New York that the less I like. People seem accustomed to order huge plates and then leave half, a bad habit reflection of consumerist society of today. A behavior that many have toward all kinds of consumer goods.
Then there are some cultural aspects that belong more to the America in total rather than to New York. It’s easy notice these aspects because, until we Europeans travel in the Europe, we see different cultures from our home countries, but there are also many similarities, the basics are very similar. In America, there are signs that it is a different continent, with traditions and habits very different from ours. For example, the tips; in Europe you don’t have to tip the waiter, this is already included in the price of the service, the same way as taxes. In America, if you go to the restaurant, to the price of the dishes you’ll need to add a percentage to cover the fees and another to be donated to the waiter as a tip (subject to a minimum, unless you want to receive insults). This involves significant differences in the service received. In Italy the waiters are friendly and polite, in general. But in America, it seems that the waiters want to be your friends, like the promoter who must sell and sell so try to talk and be your friend. In America the waiters will ask you where you are, how much time you stop, where you want to go and what you see, give you advice, and try to make as pleasant as possible your service. Now, mine is clearly a superficial reading, a tourist who stopped to New York seven days, he is unable to meet the economic and social implications of this policy. I only pointed out one of the main differences with Italy.
The tax speech deserves a separate discussion. This is perhaps the thing that less understand in the American system. Every time you go to buy something you have to remember to add a percentage of tax, but only on certain products. For those who know Italy knows that this system is totally different from ours.
Overall it was a great holiday (even if my feet don’t agree), which confirmed to me the beauty of the American continent, so if possible I hope to be back in the USA.
Good light to everyone.