Saturday, September 11, 2010
New York City vs. London
Now that I've had a few days to hit New York City, I can compare it to London a bit, where I went on all the weekend days. Maybe I didn't see all of London, but most of NYC, which is mostly Brooklyn, that I've seen so far is more "gritty" and dirty than any of London I wandered around. The few blocks of Manhattan I saw was an exception.
The NYC subway is far dirtier and run down than the London Underground. At each of the NYC stations I've been to the paint is peeling, there's lots more exposed iron girders and pipes and exposed wiring, giving it a more industrial, less finished look, while on the sides opposite the platforms there's lots of places with tiles falling off the walls, and lots of water dripping from the ceiling down onto the tracks, even though it's been bright and sunny without any rain.
The tunnels are all bigger than London's so when trains come there's little of the "breath of the dragon" (as me and a former teammate called it) like in the Underground, but the trains all make a horrendous, deafening clattering and clanking as they come into the station.
The maps and routes seem more confusing than on the London Underground, although that could be because I don't know it as well as I did after a few weekends in London. Or maybe NYC is a more geographically complex city, made up of several islands, and the subway lines don't have names indicating where they go, they're all single letters and digits, like near my office's neighborhood there's the 2, 3, 4 & 5 trains, but the R line runs near my apartment (while the Q and N lines run past but don't stop).
So that's just a sort of first impression...