Monday, August 10, 2009

Second Impressions Of New York City

New York city is definitely better by night than it is by day. The city comes alive with lights and people. At about midnight on a Saturday, it's about as crowded as Janpath on a Saturday evening. Maybe a little more crowded. The streets are full of people who want to sell you something or the other, or draw a sketch of you. The shopping places are all open at midnight. It's a huge change, if you are coming from a place where almost everything closes down at nine or so. Even Delhi witnesses low traffic and fewer people on the roads after ten or eleven.

Incidentally, I took my driving test on Saturday morning right before I went to New York. The police officer who examined me reprimanded me for stopping too close to a woman crossing the road on a bicycle. You are supposed to let cyclists and pedestrians pass, and you have to stop at a safe distance from them. Even if you have a green light, you have to stop for them. My examiner let me off with a warning and passed me anyway. But in New York, it's cars first. Of course, if there is somebody right in front of your car, you certainly need to stop for them, but it's not like here, where cars stop if someone is trying to cross a road and let them go first. Traffic is a lot more disorderly in New York city. I told my husband that if I drove in the city for a day, I'd go back to my Delhi ways, weaving in between the pedestrians, cycles, rickshaws and horse carts, and forget everything that my driving instructor taught me in all those lessons. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not entirely untrue.

I have still to see the Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty, but, well, the city for me is a great place to visit, go around, window shop on Fifth Avenue, but, at the end of the weekend, I want to be back to the peace and quiet of the green suburbs.

No comments: