Friday, 10 July 2009

The Ugly American-I Think Not!

I love New York. I realize that this is a cliché of the highest order, but it is so true and so relevant for me. I love the energy on the streets. Where else in the world would you find somebody giving away free Hershey bars to the masses without inciting a riot? I love the cultural choices. There is so much to do one hardly knows where to begin. I love that you don't have to spend a fortune or you can if you want to. I could absolutely live on Broadway!(Seriously! I could pitch a tent, see every show up and down the street, and then start all over again. Billy Elliot is simply stunning, by the way. We saw young David Alvarez from Montreal in the role and he was glorious.) I love the galleries and, yes I even love the shopping. Toronto is New York with an inferiority complex and a garbage strike. The Husband and I try to sojourn here at least once a year for a fix. But, as much as I love all of these things, the best part of New York is the people.

Forget everything that you have heard or read about the rude New Yorker. It is simply untrue. The citizens of this magnificent city range from idiosyncratic, to solicitous to just plain nice. We are staying at this lovely little boutique hotel called the Casablanca at 43rd and Broadway, the heart of Times Square. Imagine Bogie and Bergman and you have a sense of this charming little gem. While the decor is beautiful, it is the service that is truly remarkable. Before we left TO, they sent us an email and followed up with a personal phone call asking if we required anything from tickets to restaurant reservations. This is 2009! Where does that kind of service exist anymore? NYC! Not only that, the manager provided us with a personal cell number in case of issues while in the city. Yesterday we played trivia with a Phillie-obsessed waitress who seemed to hold me personally responsible for Joe Carter's homerun in the '93 series. She was a delight. We mingle with the masses and question the locals for directions and we are met with nothing but niceness. Yes it is true that there is a no bullshit attitude to New Yorker's, but I find it refreshing. The only issue so far was the man sitting beside me in the theatre last evening who seemed to think that he was entitled to his seat and half of mine. Not only that, but he kept coughing and sneezing on me! There wasn't enough Purell in my purse to make me feel clean. I gently nudged him part way through the first act, but he didn't take the hint. Ah, such is life.

Americans have taken it on the chin lately for their supposed parochial world view and their elitist status. I am certain that those rude individuals exist, but we haven't yet encountered them in NYC. Miami? Now that is another story.

Since I am new to this mobile blogging, I haven't yet figured out how to respond to comments posted. A word to my plane maven. I can't discern one from another. I am just happy it has wings and engines. I did however spy the Japanese emperor's planes yesterday at Pearson. Very cool.

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