With my sister in tow, I went to NYC to acquire a new apartment and to explore more of the city. Two things immediately became clear on this trip: 1. Sister was much more game to explore and 2. Much more walking would be involved.
Now, nothing against the good ol' Midwest, but let's face it--we don't walk for more than a block for anything! So, to fill everyone in--since this seems to surprise so many people---if you travel, you will walk. CRAZY. and true. You will get hot, you will sweat, and you will walk.
So here is my handy dandy list for NYC travel:
1. know at least one subway line like the back of your hand: If you get lost or are traveling at night, it helps to just ride until you hit this one line and then you can get home without looking at your map.
2. know what stores/restaurants have public restrooms: McDonalds is always a sure bet, Starbucks at 90% reliable, bookstores are also a safe bet. Usually if you buy a meal at a diner or restaurant, you can use the bathroom. Sadly, Topshop does not :(
3. when on the subway do NOT look at someone for more than three seconds OR YOU WILL INVITE CRAZY
4. when on the subway do NOT talk to anyone you don't know...even if they are asking you questions OR YOU WILL INVITE CRAZY
5. when on the subway do NOT announce where you are going or what stop you are going to get off OR...once again...YOU WILL INVITE CRAZY.
6. if you have to walk at night, walk with a purpose and look like you know exactly where you are going and you only have so much time to do it, or well...you know the drill!
Okay. Now that is out of the way...on to the trip:
We looked at apartments and did some fun things on the side when there was time including checking out Central Park, going to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, visiting Chinatown and Soho, walking through Little Italy, and of course visiting Times Square both at night (the best!) and during the day. Which brings us to the more exciting section of the trip.
Although I had thoroughly gone over some safety tips with my traveling companion, we did encounter a problem in the subway. My sister, friendly/misguided creature that she is, decided to have a conversation with some stranger on the subway who insisted on asking her where she was from, where she was going, how long she was staying, etc.
Having had an eye-opening experience in Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Paris with a gypsy (?) who proceeded to maul my face, aka french kiss my FACE, on Victor Noir's grave/fertility symbol marker...well, let's just say I don't talk to any native that willingly talks to you...because it is most likely a scam or...in my case, an undesirable encounter.
So while I was glaring down this dude (I'd say anywhere from 18-24), she proceeded to laugh and smile nervously. Well, we got off in the Times Square area and walked quickly away, both of us looking over our shoulder. Seeing as I was wearing a BRIGHT ASS YELLOW SWEATER, we were pretty easy to spot in a crowd. I paid attention to what I was passing as I walked for we had two major problems--no cards, only $11 cash. Lo and behold, I found the jackpot---darkly lit bar, bouncer in the front, $4 margarita special, and a fire station right across the street *with the firefighters hanging out in front of the station*. So as I look for my sister, I realize she has sprinted ahead of me. She's freaking out seeing that the subway creeper has followed us four blocks and pushes ahead and I follow her telling her to calm down.
Creeper catches up, and leans over her shoulder and it is about this time I go into mother bear from HELL mode. I put my hand between their faces and yell, "NO, NO, EXCUSE ME, NOT INTERESTED, WE'RE DONE HERE, EXCUSE ME"--grab my sister and we proceed to cross the street away from him. We cut up a block or two up, pass through a Marriot Hotel and proceed to the mecca of where you go when someone is stalking you in NYC.
Welcome to McDonalds.
Conveniently outfitted with restrooms while you wait for your stalker to go away. :D
And yes, I would like fries with that.
A sweet tea (yuck!) and hamburger later, we made it our first Broadway show, The Addams Family. Brooke Shields is no Angelica Huston, but it was worth it.
Having taken a self defense class, I really only learned one thing worthwhile and that is, when confronted, match the intensity. Become bat-shit crazy and scare off would be attackers. Though it seems counter-intuitive, be loud and create a scene.
I think I gave my sister an ulcer. Eh, I think I could live here.