Monday, October 16, 2006

Tale of two cities: Part 1

The thing that struck me most about my New York trip was not the subway (although I'll come on to that in my next post), not the taxis or the buses, not even the Empire State Building or the food (yes, I did do some touristy, non-commuting things whilst I was out there). No, the thing that struck me most (and aplogies if this is a bit off the commuting brief), was the fact that I don't make the best of London.

Sitting in the Europa Cafe working my way through a cup of coffee and a bagel, I looked out on Times Square and all the commuters scurrying to work and thought to myself: what a great place just feel that energy, that excitement, that bustle. And it occurred to me: I have that every day when I go to work. But the thing is, because I'm at work, it just seems like hassle. Rather than inspiring me, it drains me. Could be something to do with the fact that New York just seems less busy, even in rush hour - wider pavements, more frequent subway trains, or whatever - but there is definitely something in the way I perceive that hustle and bustle.

So here's what I going to do - I'm going to get my head up. I'm going to make more of an effort to enjoy where I work. Today, for example, I got out of the office at lunchtime, had a very nice hot chocolate with my colleague SW, and then strolled around Soho Square and down to Picadilly Circus, where I crossed the road and looked at the lights. Tomorrow, I'm going to Leicester Square. Who knows, one of these days, I might actually pop up the road to the British Museum at lunchtime - it is free for goodness sake.

They do say that the best thing about going away is that you learn to appreciate home, and much as I loved my time in NY, I think that might just be true.

Back to commuting next time, I promise - notes on the Subway and the Staten Island Ferry.

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