I Love New York
I definitely fell in love with Greenwich Village. Although most of the gay action is now found in Chelsea, Greenwich Village is where it all began. As a gay man, it was an experience walking down Christopher Street for the first time, and actually having a beer in the now re-opened Stonewall Bar, site of the gay riots in 1969 which sparked the gay rights movement.
We navigated New York City for the most part, by subway. I felt comfortable enough on the subway (and even experienced the subway during rush hour, which was a trip). On more the one occassion, people went out of their way to help us when they saw us struggling with directions and trains. New Yorkers really are a nice and helpful people. They're just busy, that's all.
Ironically, the only rude New Yorkers we encountered was in the gay community. The worst yet was on a visit to Rawhide, on 8th Avenue. One of the bartenders apparently gave my friend the wrong change back. (My friend had paid with a twenty, and got change back from a ten...this happens to me frequently when I travel as well). When my friend politely brought it to his attention, the bartender went wacko...hurling profanities and calling my friend evey name in the book, including "you human piece of shit". It was the ugliest, most verbally abusive thing I've ever seen. My friend simply put down his beer and left, as did the rest of us. The bouncer outside wasn't much better either, he was very surly and rude. This was the first place we had been to, our introduction to gay NY, so to speak. We had gone there initially because a gay guide we had checked out recommended it a friendly place with lots of locals, and a great place to start on an evening out. Wow.
Fortunately, we were treated better in other venues that night. We did get ripped off by a cab driver, though. A $4.00 fare ended up costing us $10.00. Although new to the area, we did notice, however, the same corner going by three times. The driver, once confronted, wouldn't stop the car to let us out! We had to yell at him to get him to stop. We paid the fare, cursed him, and walked to our destination. (The Monster in Greenwich Village). So in NY, watch your cash, and buyer beware!!
The Monster, at 80 Grove Street, was a blast. Fun dance floor downstairs, and festive piano bar upstairs. The staff were much nicer, too.
The rest of the trip was very smooth, thankfully. Times Square was impressive (both during the day and at night, too). Ground Zero, if you get a chance to see it, is very sad, a black place. Central Park was amazing. Canal Street and Chinatown were worth checking out (if you can stand the smell of rotting fish). I bought a pair of knockoff designer sunglasses for $6.00, which promptly broke the next day. Broadway is a must see...Rockefeller Center and NBC Studios were cool, although I didn't see anyone from the Today Show.
Next trip: The Met, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island