Thursday, 12 March 2015

Project in Manhattan

Back from a business trip to New York and despite the comical depths of cold, I'm happy to confirm it's a quite wonderful place to go. Imagine if someone untangled central London and mapped it over a beautiful, orderly grid and numbered the whole damned thing.

Despite a foot of snow at arrival, and the average temperature of -6ºC celsius for the stay, as a Northerner I found it brisk and pleasing. Okay, so when it was down at -17ºC then it's time to move indoors - but otherwise, perfectly fine.

As for the much-maligned TSA security checks, these failed to appear. Despite a face that usually elicits "random" security checks by the Met Police travel desks in London airports, I didn't encounter a single random check or hold-up through the whole process. Certainly a lot smoother and less claustrophic than the Heathrow system, despite fewer through points.

Heck, even tipping now makes sense when offered in context of their (low) wage structuring. My only gripe being it's measured as a percentage of service in some areas not a flat fee. So someone ordering $80 steak would expect to pay $8 to $16 tip (10% to 20% obviously), whereas someone ordering $10 pasta would be tipping significantly less.

While not much tourist-centric activity occurred, I must recommend the Top of the Rock observation deck on the Rockefeller Center, which offers a stunning view of Manhattan and wasn't clogged with tourists like myself. You're left with an equal measure of how teeny, tiny you as a single human are but yet how powerful we as humans can be when our will is bent to a purpose.

I'm no starry eyed teenager on their first trip abroad, but this short visit did produce an urge to return and see the town properly. Quite marvellous.

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