Sunday, April 22, 2007

London vs Manhattan

It's not until I returned to London that I realised how relentlessly urban it is in Manhattan. My car died in January, so I've been biking all over London in the sunshine, along the canals, through the parks, trundling through the West End properly appreciating the wide open streets, plethora of parks and green spaces and, above all, the lack of traffic even in the centre of town. There is so little differentiation between the different parts of Manhattan - you can bike up fifty blocks of sun starved avenue, and the streets will look exactly the same at the end as at the start. It's made me realise that although I am very happy in our Village walk up for the time being, this experiment with Manhattan living will not turn into a permanent thing.

I need to live somewhere that I can ride my bike with impunity - in NY I take my life in my hands, dicing with the yellow cabs who drive with murderous intent. However, on the NYC plus side, London is shockingly expensive, service in restaurants and especially in hotels is abysmal, and I miss the smiling open mien of the majority of New Yorkers (but not the evil, rage-filled morons who drive trucks and 4WDs up the arses of poor unsuspecting cyclists in the East Village)