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I Love New York

The last time I was in New York was close to ten years ago. My good friend and I went to Long Island to spend time with his aging grandmother. The trip was schedule for two weeks. We ended up staying for over six months. I remember taking the train in from Roslyn everyday to Penn station. I had just finish High School. Big city life wasn't just new to me, it was a natural high. Manhattan back then was much different from Manhattan today.

We landed in Newark New Jersey after taking the red eye from San Francisco. Feeling heavy footed from the over night flight and the three hour layover in Boston , we wanted nothing more then a cool shower and a few hours rest at our hotel ASAP. (It was a strange feeling being in the Boston airport after 9-11)

We took a share airport shuttle to the San Francisco airport so decided to do the same from the Newark airport to our hotel in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 15 minutes past before all seven of us boarded the shuttle van. I figure it should take just a little over 30 minutes to reach our hotel because according to Google maps, it's a 22 minute ride. If our hotel was among the first stops, it would take even less time. Never take a shuttle van from Newark airport into Manhattan . Not only did it take way over 30 minutes, we were stuck in Manhattan traffic for well over 1 ½ hour. Car horns roaring, people yelling and missed traffic light entertain us the entire ride. The best part was there was nothing we could have done about it. The driver had to drop all seven of us off to five different hotels. All the hotels were close to each other but were impossible to get to because of the traffic. It would have been easier for us to walk from one hotel to the next. There is nothing more madding then being stuck in traffic wearing the same clothes for the past two days. So, never take a shuttle van from the Newark airport. Trust me, spend that extra money and get a non shared ride car or a cab.

From my last trip to New York , I remember Manhattan being big, so much bigger then any other city I had been in before. On this trip, it seem even bigger to me. It's usually the other way around. The streets are wider, there were more cabs, and there were people everywhere.

Ten year ago, I loved Manhattan . Today, I love it even more. The city is clean. If San Francisco was half as clean as Manhattan , I would kiss its ground. I saw bags and bags of trash lined on its sidewalks. The amazing thing is those filled trash bags would never be rip open by homeless people are anyone for that matter. They sat there like a well manner three year old. I saw New Yorkers making conscious efforts to put their trash in the many trash bins on every Manhattan block. They really show me they care for their city. I only saw five homeless people in Manhattan my entire five day trip. I see at least five homeless people on the back of my bus to work in San Francisco everyday. I don't know how they did it; they clean the city of trash and homelessness. Ever city in the world should follow Manhattan 's example.

Why every single man in the United States does not move to Manhattan is beyond me. There are some many beautiful women in Manhattan , you mind as well call it heaven. I spoke to a few locals and they assured me the ratio is three women to every one man. Judging from their choice of clothing and trim figures, they are all very cool. If you have a foot fetish, come to Manhattan in the summertime. The heat is so hot, every women wears open face sandals. Colorful painted nails adorn every last tan female toe. When a woman wears sandals, they are usually covered with a tank top. If you have a cleavage fetish, Manhattan in the summertime can handle all your needs as well.

We spent a lot of our time in Soho . It's trendy and over priced. But the energy and the countless bars and restaurants in Soho worked for me. I venture to guess if you went to a different bar/restaurant everyday for an entire calendar year, you would not have visited every place in Soho . We were there the first two night of our trip. It seem like every bar/restaurant had outdoor seating. There is really nothing better then having dinner and drinks outside while people watching. I heard laughter, I felt young energy, and I heard the cash register ringing. Soho is over price, but nothing is free in this world. One thing to remember, since there are so many bars/restaurants in Soho it's a good idea to ask locals or people you know who have been to Soho what places are good. We had a few bad selections the first night. Never eat at the Café Del Mar on MacDougl Street . I don't know which was worst, the food or the services. It was both. I was never once asked if I wanted another cocktail. My sapper tasted like a frozen dinner. Silver Spurs is great for breakfast. Every bar we went into was good to get drunk in.

I am not sure whose idea it was to put a park in the middle of Manhattan . I would like to shake that person's hand. Central Park is the Yang and Manhattan is the Ying. The park has it all. It can bring people together for a concert or it will allow loneness. We saw a free concert at the beginning of our trip and sat by ourselves listening to the trees grow at the end.

The subway system is great. The only thing you need to worry about is the uptown, midtown and downtown directions. It took me a day to get a handle on it. Every place was downtown to me. There were so many New Yorkís finest at every Manhattan station, I didnít get confuse once. Donít let the subway frighten you. Itís very easy to use.

The city really made a good impression on us. We had a great trip.

P.S have dinner at Via Oreto on First Avenue between 61st and 62nd.
Madrid Van Lam

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