I got up at 7:00 this morning–though my iPod Touch and cellphone insist on staying on Vancouver time, and thus insist it was 4:00 AM–to get in some exploring time (I must say, though, my iPod has become my best friend at this point, though I’ve only used it as an alarm clock once). I decided to start with South Street Seaport and the Financial District, as those areas were closest to my hotel, which is on Bowery–though it did take me long enough to find South Street Seaport, and then the 9/11 memorial. But I’m here to explore, right? I think it may be tourist season here–I had such a hard time getting a photo of the Charging Bull sculpture in Battery without anyone posing with it, crowding around it, or climbing over or hanging off of it; a lady, who I surmise was a tourist, had to step in and ask everyone to hold off on rushing to the sculpture until she, and I, had a chance to take photos of just the bull (though one of the other tourists got a little overly eager while I was taking my photo–my photo shows her rushing towards the bull). About the Financial District: it could easily be New York City’s version of Yaletown in Vancouver–the streets are so narrow. After lunch, I headed to a subway station on Broadway to purchase a Metro card, so I can use transit while I’m here (I got the seven-day pass).
I got lost on my way back to the hotel when I was done in the Financial District; a very nice gentleman tried to help me–and even gave me two guidebooks with maps–but I still wandered quite a bit, and had to use directories dispersed through the streets to help me find my way back. I did find some gems during my back-to-my-hotel wanderings, including City Hall, which has a park surrounding it (I’ll have to check out the area surrounding Vancouver City Hall when I get home). I stayed at my hotel only long enough to shower, then I got on the bus to do some more sightseeing before attending a meeting of a New York City secular-humanist group, which involved watching a lecture on DVD about the DAWN mission to study two asteroids, named Vesta and Ceres. After the DVD lecture, one of the people at the meeting welcomed me to ‘America,’ as he phrased it, and gave me a suggestion of where to go before I return to Vancouver.
Now for a couple of comparisons between New York City and Vancouver. There’s constant horn-honking in New York City, as there are also constant traffic snarls and what Christopher diCarlo calls ‘undulating idiots’; I wonder if Professor diCarlo’s idea regarding traffic control–that motorists be no more than two feet in front of or behind other drivers (as I recall it–Professor diCarlo, if you ever read this, you can correct me if I’m wrong)–would work here in New York, even if the person presenting the idea isn’t a native New Yorker; there are traffic snarls and horn-honking in Vancouver, but not as much as here in New York, and, in Vancouver, it’s all chiefly limited to rush hour; though I can’t promise I won’t even mentally bitch about Vancouver traffic anymore, I will try to remember New York City traffic whenever I feel like Vancouver traffic is trying my patience. Also, on the first bus I boarded, I noticed the driver was encased in a glass cage, to protect him from potentially belligerent passengers; buses in Vancouver don’t have glass cages for drivers–I’m guessing the New York City transit system doesn’t have the honour system that TransLink in Vancouver does. One similarity I’ve noticed between New York City and Vancouver is that no one feels they can rely on the transit system. That’s all I can think of for now, but maybe I’ll see more similarities and contrasts between Vancouver and New York as I traverse the city for the next two days. For right now, all I can say is, though I’ve only seen a portion of New York City, I have a feeling Vancouver is going to feel like a small town when I return.