Noo Yoik, NY

Rex's USA Diary

The Way it Was

My New York City (NYC) visit happened two weeks before the attacks of 11 September 2001. It seems strange recording those balmy days knowing what has happened since then. But a taxi driver described the character of the town well as he drove us to a hotel via a busy cross-town street. A chic young lady stepped out from the pavement and strode across the road in front of all the traffic without giving it a glance. The traffic dutifully slowed and made way for her and nobody tooted their horn. Our driver looked at us, rolled his eyes and said 'Dis is Noo Yoik'.

Which was interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, our driver was ethnically Greek, and while he had a Greek accent, he also had a New Jersey (Noo Joisy) accent that stamped him as a local. An interesting combination that we were to find was the norm rather than the exception here. Secondly, the young lady was very smart and worth slowing to watch - shades of Vogue magazine, etc in a fashion capital of the world. And third was the lady's sassy attitude - a 'this is my town and I will do what I like in it' sort of approach. So I suppose our driver was acknowledging more than a jay-walker with his comment, because he never tooted either.

New York jungle

During my visit I walked so much I ended up with an inflamed knee that took a couple of weeks to correct itself. And I didn't just walk. There were the thrills of speeding through the dodgem race of Manhattan in a bright yellow taxi, the hectic mob scenes below ground as crowds rolled off and on the subway units, and the stately procession across the harbour on a ferry overloaded with tourists.

Please click 'Next' to enjoy my journey around New York as it basks in the sun, with no hint that in a few turns of the earth life here will never be the same.

(For a step back in time, here is another perspective of this amazing city. Check out Medieval New York )