Oh how happy I was when I had my iTunes on shuffle in my hotel room and I heard the Pet Shop Boys’ “New York City Boy”. Especially as I’m, as the song says, where 7th Avenue meets Broadway. Anyway, that was just an aside..
One of the things I’m enjoying the most so far in New York is the politeness, the friendliness.
Someone bumps into you on the street, they apologise and sound like they mean it. When a waitress serves you she earns her tip with her lovely, attentive service.
Doormen at the office wishing me a good evening as I leave – ping! Craig is smiling.
When I buy cigarettes, I get a book of matches with them – ping! Craig is smiling.
When I buy a sandwich, it’s wrapped perfectly in fresh greased paper, with every filling there to taste, rather than the begrudging smears of, say, mustard you sometimes experience in Europe.
There’s been so many times over the past few days when I’ve smiled at something small that’s happened. And if I think about a similar day in Berlin, there’d have been an equal amount of bad service in the same amount of time.
Of course, it’s not all please and thank yous; turn of Fox News and there’s the most hateful bile being spewed out. If this were an Arabic or North Korean TV station, Bush and his chums would be very quick to condemn the station. As it is, they get away with slating Ken Livingstone, calling him a Communist and London’s “nutty mayor”; they infer that the BBC, with it’s attempts at impartiality, aids terrorism. It’s really horrible. But, I can turn it off. And I did turn it off, and I’ll leave it off.
So, soon, another New York day will be over, and a New York evening will be beginning. Once I’ve got through the revolving doors (they make me anxious), I think I’ll brave the hair-dryer heat and go to Central Park for a while; just as soon as I’ve finished listening to Liverpool’s latest Champions League qualifier match on the internet…