What I Saw This Week: Observations From the Wonder City #1

Life moves much faster in New York City than it does anywhere else in the entire world. The world passes through this grid of gritty, grimy and glistening streets and as it does so it leaves behind sprinkles of other lands, cultures and ideas.

Every morning as I wake up, I look out my bedroom window in Harlem (which faces east towards the Bronx) and remember how fortunate I am to live in such a place where there is something for everyone and everyone is accepted for who they are and what they believe. When you go to Rome, you get the Italians. When you go to Dublin, you get the Irish. When you go to Rio, you get the Brazilians. When you go to New York, you get everyone.

Each morning, as I ride the Brooklyn-bound 2 or 3 train to work, I casually glance around the car and notice a variety of life that simply couldn’t be replicated on any mass transit system in any other city in the world. I have never seen the same people twice on the train, even though I take the subway at exactly the same time each morning.

It’s impossible to document every single moment you notice in a city such as New York. It’s insanity to try to remember every interesting thing that happened to you on any given day. Everything is interesting and something is always happening. What I intend to do with this new series, “What I Saw This Week: Observations From the Wonder City,” is give you flickers of moments I experienced during the past week to give you a taste of what life is really like in the center of the universe. Think of it as a flip book of sorts as I’ll be saturating your curiosity through photos I take.

Here are this week’s observations:

















This is less than a block from Penn Station and a scene from my daily commute.


















I saw Selma last weekend, and it made me realize how the civil rights movement and African Americans’ push for voting rights wasn’t long ago, especially with recent events in New York City, Ferguson and elsewhere. As someone who saw the movie, I’m surprised it didn’t receive more Oscar nominations as there’s some excellent acting and the cast is pretty impressive.


















A diner I often walk by when I’m in the Upper West Side.


















I went to a roundtable dinner at Keen’s Steakhouse in Manhattan this week to discuss 2015 travel trends with other travel writers. Keen’s is considered one of the best steakhouses in New York City and I agree with that claim. It’s a Victorian steakhouse and you feel like you’re stepping into the Civil War era as soon as you step through its doors. Of course, prices are reflective of modern-day Manhattan and can tip the scale at hundreds of dollars per entrée.














The steak I had at Keen’s, one of the best I’ve ever tasted by far.


















Caught this distant view of Times Square and the Bank of America tower (skyscraper with slanted roof) walking home from work one night.


















I attended a conference for young travel professionals at the Park Hyatt New York last week and aspire to stay there even for one night some day. To give you an idea of how upscale a typical guest room suite is, there’s a TV built into each bathroom mirror (like something out of the Jetsons) and the toilet seat automatically lifts up as soon as you open the bathroom door. Oh, and the floors are heated throughout each suite.


















Saturday was a semi snow storm for the NYC area so the only way to deal with that is warm up inside with a delicious cup of green mint tea.