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New York, day 1

Finally visiting NYC for the 2nd time. Getting here is cheap by bus, but staying here without friends or family to host me has put me off; I finally bit the bullet.

Megabus: $55 round trip with special reserved seats. Which I didn't get, because instead of the scheduled double-decker with table seats and such they brought out a standard bus. I hope there's a refund in my future. Cramped, erratic A/C, erratic WiFi. Even more cramped than Greyhound? Felt that way, though it's been a long time. Schedule said 4.5 hours, driver said 4-4.5 hours, reality said 5.5 hours; friends were surprised it was only that. Much of the last hour was getting through Manhattan, especially down 9th, up 8th, down 7th again, then waiting for a curbside spot. Whatever Greyhound's problems, at least they go to the Port Authority.

First impression from the bus: "man, these really are inhumanly tall buildings." I felt better on the sidewalk, though also irritated by slow walkers. Transit was mostly good, though there's no placard telling you what standard fares are. I splurged on a $30 weekly pass even though I've here for 4 days; figured I might use it a lot, and anyway I won't have to worry about marginal costs. Train has fancy LCD display of the next dozen stops. Also openable windows, with a sticker saying something like "don't open, we have A/C".

Host is friendly, apartment decent, though room lacks full privacy curtains or a seal on the A/C. Well, it's not my power bill.

Staying on the edge of Chinatown, walked around a bunch. Got out late, 8:45pm, lots of things closed. Was looking for a sweet spot in restaurants, busy enough to be attractive, but not with a line. Hard to find... ended up at a cheap noodle soup place. I noted that all the Vietnamese or Thai places have A sanitary inspection grades, while most of the Chinese ones are B or C.

Found Little Italy. Mulberry street is sealed off from cars, with lots of fancy restaurants with street seating. I had some gelato from a Christmas tree ornament store. o_O Nothing about that sentence makes sense to me, but the gelato was good.

Whole lot of late night Asian "foot rub" places.

I'd heard NYC had a stink in the summer. I thought, surely not. Nope, definitely a trash smell to a lot of Chinatown. If you're unlucky a *really sour* trash smell. Possibly connected to the piles of trash bags out on the sidewalk, despite the rats...

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
harimad
Jun. 21st, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
Trash bags are out on the sidewalks because there are no alleys or other remotely viable places to put trash cans (unless you live in an certain subset of apartment buildings). It's a problem all over Manhattan. If you found yourself in the uber-fancy upper East Side within a day of trash day, you'd see the same thing.

Needless to say, rats are a big problem in Manhattan.
mindstalk
Jun. 21st, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
A lot of the Boston area or San Francisco don't have alleys either; trash cans go in front, just like the bags. I did wonder if density means that piles of bags are more area efficient than rows of cans.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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