Friday, May 04, 2007

Foreign Journey: New York, New York 2: Travelling

Not only is New York City a cool place, even the car license plate are cool as well.

The license plate of one of the diplomats.

However, owning cars in New York City is an expensive affair. It requires much more money for parking fees than Singapore. To illustrate the point, an entry cost USD12.66, excluding the 18.375% tax. And this is a parking space located near NYU, New York University.

In sophisticated Fifth avenue, the prices are astronomical. A month of parking rent cost more than renting a condominium in Singapore.

For exotic cars, which are aplenty in this city, it cost an additional USD100.

Another alternative is a taxi, which cost USD2 for a mile of distance traveled. And tipping is customary.

The cheapest way to travel is by the New York subway, one of the more complex subway system of the world. And a few million New Yorkers travel on them everyday, making it the top 5 busiest subway systems in the world. It cost USD2 per ride but a day pass for unlimited ride cost USD7. For a week pass, it cost USD24.

Known to be dangerous and dark in the past, it has seen improvements in the recent years.

It may not be the nicest place, with some parts looking old, with some unknown pungent smell, and rubbish and dirt all around. But it serves its purpose well enough-efficient travel.

Grand Central, the famous station.

The subway is an interesting to experience the vibes of New York City. Not only are the trains crowded, with people rushing in and out of the trains, the variety of people is astounding. From sophisticated office lady, to tourists holding and looking at their "Lonely Planet" and maps, to weirdly dressed people, as well as street performers in the subway stations.

From the Chinese flute player near Chinatown area, to some youngsters doing their dances, to keyboard and guitar players, to even people singing along their way and also while listening music in the headphones, it must be concluded that these people are talented, really talented. For the singers, from the initial encounter, they might be even better than the contestants of Singapore Idol. True street entertainment, random, unlicensed, talented, unforgettable thrill.

For some reasons, NYPD sounds cool.



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