I imagine that Manhattan looks amazing if you manage to look up and see the city. But when I’m walking through the streets I have to constantly watch my feet. The pavements are uneven and crowded with people who don’t appear to be paying attention to where they are going. Today I nearly lost my footing when someone pushed their bag into the back of my knees. I spent time dodging the tobacco smoke and the ash that gets flicked my way from the people who walk and smoke. I had to navigate road works and building works. And of course you have to avoid the cars and taxis that drive at you even when you have right of way on a crossing.
And then there is the noise. The constant honking of car horns, the blaring of sirens, the construction at the World Trade site, and the yelling people. And the people here yell all the time. I accidentally knocked into a man in the supermarket and he turned and screamed into my face whilst I was apologizing. People who are walking by themselves will be yelling into their phones or their blue-tooth headsets. I met Marty for lunch today but we didn’t talk much. He couldn’t hear me in the restaurant and I didn’t feel like shouting through lunch. I’ve always thought that people from New York talked loudly and now I know why, you almost need to scream to be heard.
But despite the noise, the smells, and the chaos on the streets, this is a city I could grow to love.