Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Impressions of Downtown

I have been living downtown for almost a week now and I am enjoying my experience so far.  I am  in the Financial District, right by the NYSE, so it's a real change of scene from the Upper West Side!

Here are some of the differences I have noticed so far:

It doesn't smell like a dog toilet.  So many people have dogs on the UWS and it often smells strongly of dog urine and feces.  I was always dodging dog pooh and hated watching dogs relieve themselves where I would later see children playing.

It smells of cigarette smoke.  It seems I have traded one nasty smell for another!  Lots more people smoke down here, it is a mixture of tourists and those working in the many office buildings in the area.

There are lots more people.  This is the hub of financial institutions and many people work here, add to the that the number of tourists visiting Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and The Statue of Liberty and it is really busy.

Less green more blue.  I miss having Central Park so close, but I have traded in green trees and parks for the Hudson river.  Walking around the tip of Manhattan allows you to take in some great views and you have access to the various boats, ferries and water taxis leaving from the harbour.

Amazing architecture.  Many of the buildings in the area used to be financial institutions, and therefore the insides of the most random places are beautiful.  The local Duane Reade has marble pillars and decorated high ceilings and my gym is a converted art-deco building.

Lack of local supermarkets.  Although there is a Wholefoods 15 minutes walk away, I haven't found a decent supermarket nearby.  I get most of my shopping from Fresh Direct, but I liked the convenience of a local store to pick up odd bits and get stuff they don't stock.

Great Subway Access.  You can get to almost anywhere from here.  There are many subway lines within walking distance and its easy to get to East or West side as well as Brooklyn and New Jersey.

I am planning to explore more this weekend and will let you know how I get on!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The 'C' Train Subway Spitter

Since writing the post about my Terrible Subway Experience I have had quite a lot of emails and comments from people who have seen the spitting homeless woman on the 'C' Train.

I completely agree with one of the comments saying she is a 'public health hazard', and I would hate for anyone to go through the same experience as me.  I wanted to take this opportunity to warn people about her so they can avoid her if they come across her on the subway.

She is is an old skinny woman with long frizzy hair who sometimes claims to have cancer.  You will know it's her as soon as she starts approaching people on the carriage as she gets very close and will touch you or your belongings when talking to you.  It's a game of Russian roulette when it comes to who she spits on, although from the feedback I have had she seems to spit more on young women.

Every time I travel on the subway I keep a look out for her and hope I never see her again.  If you see her move as far away as you can, change to another carriage or get your umbrella out!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Downtown Girl

For the last year I have been an Uptown girl living on the Upper West Side, but due to building works we are moving downtown for a couple of months.

I am looking forward to living in a different neighborhood and exploring another area of Manhattan.  I have become incredibly lazy lately when it comes to trying new things in this city, so this move will give me the kick I needed to continue making the most out of living in NYC.

Having become accustomed to the grid system, I'm sure I will get lost a few times before finding my way around.  I haven't had to remember street names since I lived in the UK, and I'm got great with directions.  I'll have to dig out my street map and be a tourist all over again!

I'll let you know how I get on!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Internations' Expat Website

One of the great things about writing this blog is when I am contacted to write an article or interview about living in New York.  I was recently contacted by a website called 'Internations' to complete an interview about relocating and I was very excited to be featured on their New York pages.

'Internations' is a website for expats all over the world.  Each city has their own area on the website providing local information and help with relocation.  They also organise local events to help you meet expats in your area.  I haven't been to anything yet, but they have had some really fun looking events.

You have to be a member to access the website, but its free and they don't bombard you with emails or messages.  It seems to work like other social networking sites where you can look at peoples profiles and add them as friends.

For more information to check out my interview visit their website at