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Lobsters, jazz and tips. How Russian woman survive in New York



New York beckons. New York scares. New York is not indifferent. He is sung in songs and films, he is accused of heartlessness and cruelty. Marina Romanova, a linguist from Moscow, visited the Big Apple and said “»What to do and where to go in the city of skyscrapers.

Фото: Depositphotos

Despite the fact that I traveled almost far and wide across Europe, and during my school years I managed to visit London and Scotland, the topic of Western countries was not fully revealed to me. Trite, but America really always seemed to be some kind of unexplored and mysterious land, a country of freedom, in which everything must necessarily be different, not like in Russia, not like in Europe, but somehow in its own way. No worse and no better, but definitely different.

We live in a world without borders, in which, if desired, anyone can save up for a trip to any country (provided that you can enter it). And we have no iron curtain: the Internet and social networks in a few seconds will fill informational gaps and give an exhaustive picture of any corner of the globe. And besides, New York is one of the largest, densely populated and visited by megacities in the world. Therefore, of course, I had a peculiar idea of ​​the city of skyscrapers, the stock exchange, Broadway and the ever-flashing Times Square. It remained to see this other world with my own eyes.

City of Dreams

Just like Ilf and Petrov in 1935, and behind them Urgant and Posner in 2006, we began our acquaintance with America in 2018 from New York, the most atypical and non-American city of the United States. Parallels with other cities, look for the common for all Americans in the private way of life of the inhabitants of New York is definitely not worth it - the picture will be distorted. New York for America, like Moscow for Russia: it is worth moving to this city only if you are ready to conquer and conquer it, otherwise it will eat and spit out you back to your homeland.

A textbook example of how Americans themselves relate to the Big Apple is the exemplary beginning of the film “The Ugly Coyote Bar”, in which the main character, in an effort to become a famous singer, moves to New York from a small town in New York State. Jersey. Despite her father's excuses, the girl decides to sacrifice everything for the sake of a dream and moves to New York.

There it turns out that the rented apartments are located in Chinatown - the Chinese ghetto in Manhattan, where the streets are teeming with immigrants from the Middle Kingdom, and fish broth is poured at the feet of passersby. Looking around the apartment, sparingly furnished and clearly in need of repair and cleaning, the kind friend of the main character sighs and gives her a pack of green dollars with the words: "I see you need it."

In this unpretentious cinematic plot, which lasts at most five minutes, laid down the key points necessary to understand the true life and atmosphere of New York.

Фото: Depositphotos

How to calculate the true New Yorker?

For the Americans themselves, NY is another planet. In Puerto Rico, we met a young couple from Tennessee - the capital of American whiskey and the birthplace of country music. The young husband, outwardly strongly reminiscent of Peter Griffin, admitted that he had never been to New York and was not torn there. They say, “New York is so many people, everybody is running somewhere, they work a lot, not that we have peace and quiet on our farm near Nashville, but you can walk to the office on foot”.

And if from Nashville to New York really take a long time (about fourteen hours behind the wheel), then from the neighboring state of New Jersey can be reached in just an hour and a half. And in fact, many Americans who work in New York live this way. Indeed, in terms of transport infrastructure and logistics, living, for example, in Jersey City is much more profitable and more convenient for an IT person on Wall Street than in any area of ​​New York.

Firstly, the vast majority of New Yorkers work in the cultural and financial heart of this city, in Manhattan - the most famous “island of many hills” (“Mannahatta” in the vocabulary of Indian tribes). It would be more correct to call Manhattan not a district, but a district (or “borough” - borough, as the Americans themselves call it), because four more Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were joined to the once separate independent city of Manhattan, which together formed New York as we know it now.

If you look at the map, you can see that Manhattan is cut off from Brooklyn and Queens by the East River Strait, the Harlem River separates the island from the Bronx, and in the west the Hudson River just borders New Jersey, and another state is even visually located much closer than washed by the waters of the New York Bay area of ​​Staten Island. Such a close neighborhood, coupled with a developed network of numerous metro lines and railways, allowing you to reach almost every town in the state much faster than the outskirts of New York, and made New Jersey such an attractive place to live.

The second and, perhaps, the main reason is money. Renting apartments in Manhattan is a luxury that extremely rich people can afford, especially if it is not a tourist trip, but permanent residence. For example, the rent price for a two-room apartment is not even in Manhattan, but in Brooklyn it will be about three thousand dollars. At the same time, the apartment will most likely be so sparingly furnished that of the amenities in the living room (adjacent to the kitchen so much that you can cook a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast sitting on the couch) there will be only a sofa. And maybe the furniture in the rented apartment will not be at all, you will have to order it yourself on Amazon.

And if at all the described "conveniences" plaster does not pour from the walls and ceiling - consider yourself lucky. At the same time for two and a half thousand dollars in the city of Sekauk you can rent a truly luxurious and on the footage, and according to the criteria of repair, a three-room apartment in a smart club house with a private territory, with its own free parking, pool and spa. And although the city is located in the state of New Jersey, its residents get to the center of Manhattan in just ten minutes by train without transfers.

From my description it seems that the choice is obvious. But it's not that simple. I was fortunate enough to live a few days in the above-described Brooklyn apartment of friends, after which I realized that only those who dream of falling asleep in Manhattan can be considered true New Yorkers. And the point. Rational reasoning about the convenience of living in the suburbs, the fresh air, the values ​​of comfort and cozy life - all this pales in comparison with the energy that this type of people are charged with just one word and look at Manhattan.

It's not about age or beliefs. Just New York is either Manhattan or not. My friends understood this very well, so they rented (or rather agreed to rent) an apartment in Brooklyn only because the house had its own access to the roof, from which day and night the view of real New York - that is, Manhattan was opened.


Island of many hills

The first impression is always deceptive, and the first impression of Manhattan is doubly deceptive, triple and even more, because a person who first appeared in New York, looking at the map, can decide that Manhattan is rather small and can be easily avoided in half a day. . Perhaps this erroneous perception is due to the fact that Manhattan is smaller than other areas of New York, and its streets are so geometrically logical that it seems that getting from Central Park to Bull on Wall Street is not difficult.

In fact, walking around Manhattan’s districts on foot, especially if you stayed in New York for just three days, like me, and you plan to visit the maximum number of significant attractions during this time - an unaffordable luxury. Moreover, there can be no talk about a leisurely walking step. In New York, they don’t walk, but run, if not for lunch at the height of the working day, then at Central Park - they run, sorry for the tautology, run.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in this city is beneficial and cost-effective. After all, running as a means of transportation is a free pleasure, as opposed to local taxi services. The first trip to Uber from the airport to the heart of Manhattan cost us only (compared to the prices of classic yellow New York taxis) in 70 dollars, and at the budget pool itself, which allows you to pick up travel companions within a given route with minimal deviations and short stops . The opportunity to share a trip is a godsend for a tourist who wants to somehow save money in New York. Moreover, companions are mostly friendly and friendly people.

Since New York is huge, it would be wrong to say that this is a city of good people. But what really amazes an inexperienced Russian tourist is the openness, sincerity, and friendliness of local Americans. Only in New York can a casual counter in a crowd notice how great you look today or, passing by, shout to you from the car that “you have a nice sweater”, and in general “you are cool” and “have a nice day”.

To say it just like that to a stranger and to go further. Without any ulterior motive, far-reaching intentions or malicious intent, which you immediately begin to suspect by rushing around all your pockets. At first, it frightened me: it’s really impossible to just weigh off compliments to strangers left and right, there must be a catch, but you don’t find it.

After hearing stories about rats, homeless people and urban madmen, who are in abundance in New York, we decided to look for alternative means of transportation around the city and found it. Funny, but the slogan of urban bikes in New York speaks for itself: "Faster than on foot, cheaper than a taxi, and much more fun than on the subway." This type of transport is actively used by both locals and tourists. Just parking for bicycles in the city is much more than parking for cars, and the cost of renting a bicycle per day is only 12 dollars (the average cost of one taxi ride around Manhattan).

Of course, only people with very good physical preparation can afford to make long-distance raids on a bike, for example, from Brooklyn to Manhattan. But, as I said, in New York it is fashionable to be athletic and healthy, so it’s possible to meet cyclists at the Brooklyn Bridge quite often.

Using a bike is easy, just download the application to your phone, enter the required card details and select the appropriate fare. The most convenient way to travel on a two-wheeled vehicle is precisely Manhattan, because in this way you can see all the scenic spots without having to buy an entrance ticket.

Фото: Depositphotos

Tourist must see is the well-known Times Square, the longest Broadway street, the most expensive Fifth Avenue street, the city’s largest green oasis of Central Park, Wall Street financial center and skyscrapers are the main and most recognizable sights of the Big Apple. Being in Manhattan for the first time, you cannot pass by the first high-rise of the city of Iron House in Madison Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, the World Trade Center and the Trump Tower.

Being in New York and not going up to the observation deck of one of the skyscrapers is like being in Paris and not going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. However, if your financial resources allow (for example, when preparing for a trip, you purposely saved up for this item of expenditure), then I strongly recommend donating a rise to the Empire State Building (even if you always dreamed of feeling like King Kong) and flying over the city by helicopter.

The flight can be booked in advance to be guaranteed to get on board on Day X, because, despite the cost (basic, shortest Manhattan Sky Tour per person will cost 209 dollars), helicopter tours are in great demand among tourists. For fifteen minutes you will see the whole Manhattan bird's eye view, including the top of that Empire State Building (by the way, the cost of a trip to the roof of a skyscraper is 38 dollars), fly over Hudson, admire the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, which neither ferry Staten Island Ferry, nor from land, so close photograph will not succeed.

For lovers of adrenaline and just beautiful pictures, there are special flights over New York by helicopter without doors. Perhaps this option is more suitable for experienced travelers, but whatever flight you choose for yourself, after all, having seen enough of the sights of New York, you will inevitably want to have a snack.

Фото: Depositphotos

Gastronomic mecca

You can talk about food in New York for hours, because in this international city you will find a dish of any cuisine of the world, while each time trying something new - be it Chinese noodles, Japanese ramen, Mexican tacos or Russian borscht. In New York, there is even a branch of our domestic “Coffeemania”, lurking in Manhattan under the name L'Adresse American Bistro, which is unusual for itself.

Despite this culinary diversity, in New York you can still highlight the main dishes that are definitely worth trying for every traveler. First, the hot dog, which has become the same indisputable symbol of the city, as the statue of Liberty. During the next wave of immigration, the Germans brought a sausage recipe (frankfurter) to the USA, and already during the Civil War, New York butchers were actively preparing smoked sausages.

The first street trader hot dog in Brooklyn was a German immigrant. And if in the XIX century the cost of a hot dog did not exceed even three cents, now in the Times Square area a hot dog with mustard, ketchup, onions and sauerkraut will cost as much as 10 dollars. Therefore, if you find yourself on the main square of the city and want to have a snack, then I advise you to start an appetite for a start - as you move away from Times Square, the price of hot dogs falls.

I note that not all hot dogs in New York are tasty, but this particular fast food most closely matches the atmosphere of the city: when everyone is running and you run, for example, to a museum, you have to have a bite right now, and now you are already sitting on the steps of the Metropolitan -Museum (the second most visited art museum of the world after the Louvre), eagerly and hastily eating a sausage.

Another New York must eat is steaks. Only a vegetarian can afford to visit New York and not try steak. And if you do not consider yourself as such, then feel free to go to a restaurant for a sirloyn or strip layer. Prepare in advance for the fact that, unlike a hot dog, steak tasting at famous restaurants a la Keens Steakhouse (one of the oldest steak houses that has been operating since 1885) or Peter Luger Steak House will cost hundreds of dollars.

In all New York establishments, even in clothing stores, you should also always remember that the total price on the check will be much higher than the price indicated in the menu or on the product tag. Even a dress for 20 dollars at the cashier’s mall will cost 23, because the 3 dollar is a state sales tax.

Tourists inevitably encounter this injustice in all the gastronomic restaurants of New York. And if local residents, when they pay a bill in which sometimes even taxes on buildings are prescribed, understand what every cent spent above a specified price goes on (because they know their rights very well and can always ask for clarification from the state), then for a tourist The final amounts in restaurants seem illegal rip-off.

Another important fact - tips. If you took an inexpensive beer in a food court in the open air, you were poured into a plastic cup at the bar counter, after which you yourself brought it to your table, and then you yourself threw it into the basket, then it’s probably a tip you can not leave at all. In all other cases, when you are served by a waiter or staff of a hotel, beauty salon, etc., do not leave a tip - moveton, for which you can fly into your eye.

Tea in New York decided to leave 18-20 percent of the total bill. If you leave 15 percent, then, most likely, they will look askance at you and demand explanations. Do not leave anything - will not be released on the street. If you do not have cash, it doesn’t matter either, the check contains a column in which, if you pay the bill on the card, the amount of the tip that the waiter will withdraw along with the total bill fits in.

In general, whatever one may say, but the Russian man to get rid of the tip in America will not work. But it is not a pity to leave them when they served you on the highest level and fed you with a delicious steak, for example, in the Bistro le Steak restaurant. It is better to book a table for the evening in advance, because even during the daytime the regular customers, local and mostly elderly Americans usually have lunch at the restaurant. And although the price tag in Bistro le Steak is much more sparing than in Keens, two steaks and two glasses of wine cost us no 150 dollars in tips.


Also, the main food that I personally, after the European seaside resorts, I rediscovered for myself in America, is lobsters. The east coast of the United States, or more precisely, the state of Maine (or Maine, as they call it in Russia), is famous for its lobsters. It is on the shores of Maine that 90 are caught in percent of all American lobsters, and they are asked not to litter lobsters with inscriptions from the storm nets. Such an abundance of crustaceans on the East Coast and the relatively low wholesale cost of a pound of lobster (varies in different years around 30 dollars per 450 grams) led to the creation of a special type of fast food - lobster roll.

If you want to try the most delicious, feel free to go to Luke's Lobster, the founder of which is originally from Maine. That is why the rolls are here on a warm bun: just as it is traditionally done in the state itself. In total, there are five restaurants in New York (and, by the way, only in New York), but only between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges in a picturesque place - the DUMBO district, which is located in the northwest of Brooklyn and which offers a fantastic view of New York, there is a small counter where takeaway rolls are prepared. For about 20 dollars, you can take a trio of mini-rolls, and if you decide to order a classic standard lobster roll, then it’s definitely enough for two.

You can try lobster in one of the most famous chains of American restaurants and very popular among Americans - Red Lobster. In this institution, you understand the principle of pricing in the menu when the waiter puts the positions you ordered on the table. This American dish is so gigantic that at the end of dinner you have to ask for several plastic containers to take away. The portions are so large that out of six people at our dinner table could not finish their order, not even the most hungry guest.

Another scourge of New York is baked goods. If you are a fan of the cult and highest-rated HBO series The Sopranos, then do not be too lazy to run into the city's most delicious cannoli (a crispy waffle tube filled with ricotta cheese with various syrups is a traditional Sicilian dessert that was often eaten by the hero of the series, the boss of the mafia Tony Soprano) to the Italian bakery Veniero's Pasticceria & Café, located in Little Italy in Manhattan and founded in 1894. And if you want to try the most unusual dessert in New York, then feel free to go to Dominic Ansel's bakery for a crown.

Cronut is a hybrid of croissant (CROissant) and donut (doughNUT), fried in grape seed oil and filled with fragrant cream. Kronat is the most talked about dessert in cooking history. Despite the fact that it appeared in 2011 year, huge queues are still lining up before the bakery, and the kronatas are bought up before lunch. The chip of Dominic Ansel, the world's best pastry chef according to World's 50 Best Restaurants, is that his main priority is quality, not quantity, therefore his bakery bakes only 300 kronat per day, and customers are not allowed more than three in one hand . If all the desserts and hot dogs of New York are already tasted, and the day is approaching sunset, then go listen to jazz.

Фото: Depositphotos

And all that jazz

You can not go to New York and do not go to a jazz concert. It is like visiting Moscow and not seeing the Kremlin.

30 January 1917 was a landmark event in the world of music at the New York studio of Victor - the first jazz record was recorded, the performers of which were the natives of New Orleans. It was New Orleans that was the cradle of world jazz, but by the 30 years of the 20th century, the jazz elite had concentrated in Chicago, Detroit and New York, where night club life was actively developing, and the most famous records were recorded.

In the clubs of Harlem (Manhattan district, located in its northern part) the public gathered from all parts of New York and nearby cities. If during the day it was a black district, then at night it was seized by a white audience and listened to the jazz night away. It was in Harlem that the young singer Billie Holiday began her jazz career. As jazz became more and more popular, the district gained a reputation as a criminal and insecure place. Therefore, jazz gradually moved to the south and settled in Midtown. Currently, the largest concentration of jazz clubs is concentrated in Greenwich Village - the bohemian part of Manhattan.

If you like classic jazz, you can visit the Smalls Chamber Club, located in a cozy basement. It featured jazz stars, in particular, Norah Jones, who recorded the recognizable soundtrack for the film “My Blueberry Nights”. Entry depends on the day of the week and the program varies from 10 to 20 dollars.

If you are interested in a more bluesy atmosphere, be sure to visit Terra Blues, on the stage of which famous Texas blues guitarist Johnny Clyde Copeland, and singer Little Milton, and singer and guitarist Magic Slim (real name Morris Holt) performed on different stages. ). And even if these names don't tell you anything, the music in Terra Blues will speak for itself. Entry costs just 10 dollars. If you think about it, it turns out that the incomparable pleasure from the real “black blues” costs exactly as much as a hot dog in Times Square.

So stereotypes and prejudices about New York are absolutely true, to argue with which it would be pointless and stupid. Everything is really expensive here, and without money in this city it is extremely difficult. But the impressions he gives are absolutely priceless, so every travel lover should see the Big Apple at least once with his own eyes in order to recharge him with insane energy for the rest of his life and leave him in his heart until the very end.

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