On one of our train rides around NYC this week, I asked my sister-in-law, Liz, and her husband, Ian, some questions about their impressions of New York. Liz and Ian are visiting from Leicestershire, England for one week; this is their second trip to the U.S.
Me: What were you most looking forward to seeing in NYC before you got here?
Liz: Well, I’d have to say the Freedom Tower, because when we came last time it wasn’t there at all, you know. So you could see the difference this time, it’s amazing.
Ian: Times Square, I thought that’d be it, but that was just crazy. Just wanted to get out of there. What I’ve enjoyed more than anything is the walk along the Brooklyn Bridge.
Me: You’ve been around the city by foot, by subway and by bus. What’s your favorite mode of transportation?
Liz: Oh, the subway. It’s an experience, isn’t it? The bus is a close second because you can see all around you.
Ian: Yeah, the metro’s been really good, I like this. Me: Let’s talk about food. Some places we’ve eaten are Katz’s Delicatessen, Doughnut Plant, Two Boots Pizza, the bagel shop for breakfast…
Liz: Well, that was an experience today, at Katz’s. That was weird, let’s put it that way. I’ve never seen anything like that before- it was manic…it was awesome. Certainly stands out in my mind: I’ve never paid that much for a sandwich in my life!
Ian: Oh, and that Doughnut Plant? I’ve never seen a carrot cake doughnut before. The deli had a lotta choice, didn’t it? You really needed to know what you’re doing when you go in there, or else you’re lost. The amount of meat’s incredible! For the amount of bread you get ….that’s enough for six sandwiches.
Liz: Oh, the mustard’s nice, isn’t it? And that egg cream stuff was lovely. Oh boy, was that nice! [pause] the bagel! That cinnamon bagel was lovely yesterday morning!
Ian: [Nodding] Oh yeah, the cheese and onion bagel, that were nice.
Liz: The ice cream! [Talenti gelato from the supermarket] Oh that was lovely. That was gorgeous!
Me: And when we ate at Two Boots, the pizza was a bit too spicy for you, wasn’t it?
Liz: Blew my head off! Oh God! [laughing]
Me: Can you talk about some of the similarities between London and New York?
Liz: All right, similarities, well London’s really busy, loads of tourists, you know, all the people, diversity, the souvenirs, same kind of thing here. London’s got loads of taxi cabs and the metro as well, but when I was there last we took taxis mostly, not like we’re doing on the train here.
Me: And biggest differences?
Liz: The police have guns here, they don’t in London. [pauses] Traffic’s more manic and crazy here, isn’t it? Oh, and you can’t use the train passes [Metrocards] on the bus, like you can here. And people are willing to queue up longer here; back home, that waiting on a long line around the block, at the deli? That just wouldn’t happen. Wow! It did move fast, though, that was nice.
Me: We’ve had some funny interactions with people on the street while we’ve been here.
Liz: Oh yes! People are much more chatty and friendly here, aren’t they?
Me: What’s your favorite thing about the city so far?
Liz: [Thinks for a minute] The skyline, that’s fantastic, this iconic scene. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, you know, that’s really good. Just seeing the Statue of Liberty out the window [from the apartment], it’s just gorgeous!
What was quite nice as well was knowing that we didn’t have to plan anything: we didn’t have to think for ourselves! What a relief! [It’s true: prior to their arrival, I asked if Liz and Ian had any specific plans for what they wanted to see and do while they visited, either in NY or the Hudson Valley. Liz responded that they were just looking forward to seeing us and spending time together, leaving all the planning in my eager hands. I loved it!]
Here’s a funny lil snippet that Andy recorded on his phone. It’s not a transcript per se, nor can you make out actual words most of the time, but you do hear the screeching subway and some English accent in there!
Today’s theme is Q for questions in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My P post talked about panic and anxiety, and coming up next is a photo essay on NYC reflections. And for a blast from the past, here’s our trip to Planting Fields Arboretum for Mother’s Day last year.