This will have to be a quick post as I’m hogging a computer in the SoHo Apple Store at the moment.
We’ve spent the day mainly wandering around parts of New York, including the lovely Greenwich Village and the very trendy SoHo. After yesterday, which was a very long day of major activities like visiting the Museum of Modern Art, walking halfway across Brooklyn Bridge and then going up the Empire State Building, it has actually been really nice today to just wander around checking out the buildings and the city in general. I think that’s the part of being a tourist that I like the most – just wandering around and checking out the place I’m in.
One thing that I have found interesting in New York is the interaction between pedestrians and motorists. Due to the NYC grid, there are thousands upon thousands of intersections with traffic-lights on Manhattan Island. That means a lot of roads to cross, a like of lights to wait for. However, usually you don’t have to end up waiting – you just walk as there aren’t particularly many cars except on the main north-south avenues.
Even when there are cars coming through on a green light, they seem to always slow down and give way to pedestrians who are halfway across the road jay-walking. Perhaps it’s the massive number of pedestrians that makes this work, perhaps NYC drivers are just more concerned about pedestrian safety than in Auckland, or perhaps it’s something else altogether. I like the “greying” of the boundaries between pedestrians and vehicles that we see in NYC – a friendliness to pedestrians that I actually didn’t expect to see at all.
Tomorrow is the end of the long weekend here. It will be interesting to see how the city changes on a weekday. It’ll be good to have the subway running as per usual after all the service changes!