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!

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