OK....so let me just put it out there....I do not love New York. I barely like it. It is an angry city. New Yorkers never make eye contact, they don't talk to you, they don't smile at you, they don't apologize, say “excuse me” or acknowledge brushing past you. New Yorkers purposefully walk out into the street, block intersections, cross against the lights, push baby strollers into traffic and yell at those who dare challenge them. It is horribly crowded with bewildering traffic. You cannot escape the smell of food, vehicle exhaust, noise or people. Many of the service people (waiters, checkers) look at you with a bored look of contempt. Rarely are you greeted with a smile...instead they glare at you. It is a city that makes me feel the need to be aggressive, present an image of hostility and force...or fear being seen as weak, taken advantage of or a potential victim. I hate how it makes me feel and I hate how it makes me react...I admit....I do not love New York.
I know that many people love New York – along with a number of our friends. I get it. I understand it. It is an exciting city. Many people feel empowered by the crowds, high-rises and thrill of adventure. The public transportation is exceptional. The diversity in people, restaurants, shopping and entertainment cannot be beat. Almost anything you want can be found in the city....well, with the exception of joy and an RV Park.
We stayed across the Hudson River in Jersey City at Liberty Harbor RV Park. It is crazy expensive ($90 a night) for the amenities it provides – a gravel lot, no privacy and poor electrical service (frequent power drop outs) – but you can't get an RV any closer to New York - for any amount of money. Driving here was nerve-wracking, despite my best efforts in trip planning. Poor to no signage along with road and high-rise construction makes any pre made plan almost worthless....even with GPS technology. Driving a motorhome and Jeep in-tow through the streets of Jersey City is not for the faint of heart. Marty was exceptionally calm – at one point, we went through road construction where the road was so freaking narrow it was like a bobsled chute (cement K-rail on both sides) and the road surface was so broken up we careened and bounced like a pinball – Marty got us through without any damage and a thread of my sanity was still intact. I kept telling myself....it is all part of the adventure.
Our main purpose for coming to NYC was to visit the 9-11 Memorial. Much of the area is still under construction. One World Trade Center and part of the transportation hub are complete. There are several more World Trade Center office towers in the works. The transportation hub – which will eventually include a huge shopping mall – resembles the skeleton of a giant dinosaur. I took a few pictures...it will be easy to recognize.
We walked Wall Street, visited the oldest building in NY - Fraunces Tavern – a pub also visited by George Washington, toured the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center and spent some time with Lady Liberty. Enjoy the pictures. I am sure time will soften my views.....because even in New York City.....it is a very good life!!