Bites of the Big Apple


In the last year or more, I have had several guests from overseas. I asked them to describe their impressions of New York; here are a few highlights.

  • The city. Liz Bird, news editor at Travel Weekly U.K., said it is "the most exciting city I have ever visited. I had a very romantic image, conjured up from movies like 'When Harry Met Sally,' 'Sleepless in Seattle' and, of course, from Woody Allen films featuring pictures of Central Park and the skyscrapers."
  • Australians Alison and Sonia echoed that, even citing "Sleepless in Seattle," too. To them, the whole place was a bit like a movie set, especially seeing the Yellow Cabs and discovering Chinese takeout is for real. They also were "in awe at how much there is to do."

    A friend, Sarah, joked about getting an American dentist so she would have to return (from England) every six months. And Martin, who finds Canterbury a little slow, likes New York's edge.

    Liz said, "The best was hanging out in bars and restaurants and looking up at skyscrapers. It was great being there at Christmas [1997] when it was icy cold and had a festive atmosphere."

  • The people. Liz said she braced for rude people, particularly taxi drivers, but did not find them. Also, "I love the New York sense of humor."
  • And from Alison and Sonia: "New Yorkers are too cool for the globe." The pair said they "felt like country hicks." (This was from two women who regretted they would miss a Jackson Pollock show and who talked about their search for obscure food items that I'd never heard of. Some hicks.)

  • The sights. Liz deemed Ellis Island "well done" and called buildings "stunning." And she lives in London.
  • For the Australians: "Central Park makes the city."

    I took or sent guests to see the renovated Grand Central Station. Lucinda and Dexter reported there was "something going on." They had walked into the dedication ceremonies for the revitalized station.

  • Buying things. Lucinda and Dexter (from London) were astonished at the choices, down to the number of breads offered for deli sandwiches.
  • And Alison and Sonia echoed that, commenting on "the numbers of coffees and cup sizes."

    As for the shopping, anywhere in the U.S., all guests were enthusiastic ... and dedicated, I might add.

  • Criticisms. Liz, a gospel music fan, was disappointed with her Harlem gospel tour, figuring she should not have gone midweek.
  • More amusingly, Sonia described the "revolting face" of a greeter at Bloomingdales. The smile was way too friendly to be real.

    Criticisms were scarce, but I suppose those who visit here are those most likely to find the Big Apple tasty.

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