Almost a month ago(!) I got back from a six-day college film/media trip to New York City. I’ve always wanted to go to New York (#1 on my bucket list for approximately forever) so, even when the one other person I knew pulled out, I still went on the trip. It was lowkey terrifying, especially as I’d never flown out of Europe but I’m definitely glad I went, even if just for the Instagrams! (Oh, and we met Troye Sivan at JFK so that was pretty cool too) However, being me, I overanalyse everything and New York definitely wasn’t what I expected…so here’s 5 things that surprised me about New York City!
New York = London
I mean, obviously it doesn’t, but I was surprised by how London-like it felt. Thinking about it, it’s obvious – they’re both reasonably big, multicultural, metropolitan, modern cities (damn, that alliteration though), but that really came out of the blue for me. Good news I like London!
How un-American it felt
Kinda because it’s so multicultural, New York didn’t feel as American as I expected. Barely anybody commented on our British accents, and nobody asked if we’d met the Queen – quite a disappointment, really. It didn’t even feel like there were that many American accents! Although, conversely, there was a fab ‘Donald: Make America Psycho Again’ poster on the High Line, so that was definitely American!
The Subway Isn’t Very Sub
This might sound stupid but a rather ~shocking revelation~ for me was that large chunks of the subway are not sub at all, but instead go way above ground, often on level with roofs of buildings (or at least on one of very few subway journeys I made, from Manhattan out to Queens, it did). This was pretty awesome but also slightly unnerving when we’d started off by going underground and then suddenly had a view of the NYC skyline stretching out behind us.
The NYC transport department has nothing on TFL
And this definitely isn’t just a patriotic statement of competitiveness. You know how TFL has helpful people hanging around at all the Tube stations for hapless tourists who have no idea how the Underground map works? Yeah, none of that in New York (and I promise I’m only slightly bitter about the extra 30 minutes spent on the subway while we were lost).
The Statue of Liberty is actually quite small
You think it’s huge, right? Crowning glory of NYC, the gateway to America, etc etc. Nope, it’s weirdly small. We saw it on the Staten Island Ferry and we all kinda looked at it, looked through our phones (where it appeared even smaller), looked at each other and were like, “is that it?!”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty majestic, but definitely surprisingly small. We did catch it at sunset though which was basically an Instagram dream (though I haven’t actually Instagrammed it yet…)
Have you been to New York City? Did it live up to your expectations?