After New York City!
Yes I'm back from NYC. Predictably, I didn't get to see 1/3 as much as I wanted to. Some of this was my usual daily bad luck -- museums closing early for the holidays, having to search hours for a new hotel because my room cost went up over 300% the next day for the holiday, taking the subway uptown instead of downtown, jet lag, cold dismal weather for someone flying in from the subtropics, ferry tickets sold out, 3 hour waiting lines, etc. Never go to NYC during the new year celebrations! In fact, the newspaper said, hyperbolically, that most locals left town and all of the people crowding the street were from out of town.
Still Sho-ching and I did get to run quickly through the Met and the MOMA before they closed early. More art than your eyes can register in a week, and yet we couldn't reach the Old Masters' gallery before closing time. We visited Ground Zero, shivering in a bitterly cold wind. We explored the gothic cathedral of St. John's near Columbia University. We ate bad pizza in Little Italy and good dumplings in Chinatown. We saw Washington Square and the arch atop which Duchamp and a couple of drunk ladies announced, in the wee hours of the morning back in 1911, that Greenwich Village would henceforth be known as "The Republic of Dreams". But we didn't get to see much else there. The day after I left for Taiwan, Sho-ching stayed another day to go on a "cool" group tour of Brooklyn, led by some hipster out of her hostel.
Still I got a taste for what it's like to live in Manhattan:
1. No matter what, you need more $.
2. If you study it diligently, the subway only takes 3 months to learn.
3. New Yorkers are not indifferent and are nicer than their stereotype.
4. Macy's is not a "department store"; it is women's fashion.
5. NYC is far more multicultural than Taipei.
6. The "City that never sleeps" is due to the mice that climb on the steam radiators, waking you up.
Or maybe it's due to the pigeons cooing like lewd toddlers all night.