Opinion: Ten things I discovered in New York City

Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

I had the pleasure of experiencing New York City for the first time last weekend. Since I can’t get my mind off the subject, here are just a few of my observations of the Big Apple.

What looks like an Irish bar from outside may actually be a pseudo-Italian dance bar.

Upon a suggestion from the hotel security, we went to a bar called The Mean Fiddler. Sounds very Irish, right? Inside we found a bunch of Italian-American 20-somethings doing pushups on a dance floor to the song “Like a G6.”

The Big Apple runs on Starbucks.

By my estimate, there are approximately two Starbucks on every block. Every one of them is crowded at every hour of the day.

Comedy shows are not appropriate for little children.

While attending an improv show, F-bombs were dropped within two minutes. Surprisingly, a young mother took another half hour—about the time a child molester’s anonymous sketch surfaced—to escort her 6-year-old out of the building.

New Yorkers respect Cleveland.

Everywhere you go people ask where you’re from. Oddly enough, I didn’t get knocked once about the Cavaliers, Browns or Tribe. I even received two hugs when mentioning my hometown.

The city is a money vulture.

On any given corner there are five people trying to get something out of you. One aspiring rapper gave me his “complementary” album, autographed it for me and then asked for a “donation.” When I didn’t give him a donation, he took it back and decided it would be better for me to Facebook him.

Everything you’ve heard about New York pizza is true.

I’ve been a pizza addict for years, but I will never view it the same way. The only thing that outnumbers Starbucks shops is pizza shops. Pizza in New York is cheap, everywhere and extremely delicious.

New York is a wonderful place to live if you want to quit smoking.

I think the price speaks for itself: $13 per pack of cigarettes.

The subway has a few tradeoffs.

On one hand, you’ve got a 24-hour service that will take you anywhere for $2.25. On the other, you’ll see some of the grittiest people in your life. My favorite character was a man serenading riders with Sam Cooke songs for change and a strong faith in the power of love.

Speaking of transportation, don’t bother with a car.

Parking is about $15 per hour, I didn’t see a single gas station, 90 percent of the streets are one-way and skinny and traffic is horrendous. Luckily, I took a bus in.

Central Park is another world in itself.

I had the chance to spend a couple hours in the park and barely covered a third of its territory. The scenery is so breathtaking and relaxing I forgot for a few hours how insane the rest of the city is.