New York - The city that stinks of weed
Never sleeps, always stinks
New York has never been on my list of places to visit. It goes with Paris and London for me - massively overrated, too busy, too expensive and dirty.
Tanya wanted to visit the US. It's a massive dream for most Ukrainians as generally they'll never be able to afford to visit the US, especially New York, and its insanely difficult to get a visa for them. Tanya got her visa easily, being a resident of the UK with sufficient funds - so New York it was for us.
We arrived at about midnight New York time, but for us it was maybe 6am in our heads as we flew from Norway. Although it's the city that never sleeps, the AirTrain from JFK airport was sleeping. It took over an hour for the train to arrive, then we changed to the metro, which took another hour to get to Times Square. The hotel was fine, very small but it was about £130 per night - not bad for New York, considering we stayed on the next street to Times Square.
Now Central Park is pretty cool. It's clean, it's huge, it's well-laid out, there are free toilets. Can't complain at all. Would highly recommend.
Outside of Central Park, you're greeted by the constant stench of weed. I assume it's legal in New York now. I don't really give a shit what people do at home, but smoking anything outside and making every person you walk past smell and inhale it is inconsiderate. It unarguably stinks, as does cigarette and cigar smoke.
As you'd expect in a massive city, there's a fair amount of chaos, but actually it wasn't as bad as I expected in NYC, even at night. People were pretty calm - the drug addicts, who are everywhere, didn't seem to cause many problems, although from people I spoke to in New York said normally they are causing major issues.
We checked out the standard tourist sites. The 9/11 site is eerie, but well-made. Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge, skyscrapers are skyscrapers.
The Statue of Liberty is far smaller than I expected. Apparently you need to book months in advance to get into the crown. I booked about 2 weeks before arriving and managed to get us both a ticket. It's pretty cool - very long spiral staircase, and the view is decent.
New Jersey is much calmer, cleaner and cheaper.
Price-wise, New York is just ridiculous. Although, Starbucks seemed to be the same price as the UK. Shout out Starbucks for having proper black tea everywhere in the world.
Wouldn't return to New York, but I'll go check out more of the US.