By Jessica Suarez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday November 21, 2002
Here are a few things I can tell you about visiting New York City with definite certainty: You will overpay for things. You might see a couple of rats. And you probably won't have anyone smoke crack in front of you, before (or after) stimulating their genitals.
Here's a quick and dirty guide to visiting New York City, based on what I saw during my quick-and-dirty trip last weekend.
Don't be afraid to take the subway everywhere you go. It really isn't that bad. If you're brave, you can take it all the way from the John F. Kennedy airport to Manhattan instead of a taxi or a shuttle bus. You'll feel like an idiot carrying your suitcases onto the platform and riding it all the way across the great borough of Brooklyn, but you'll be the idiot who saved $35 to spend on, say, breakfast ¸ which, by the way, will cost something like $35.
Rats aren't as common in the subways as they used to be. I saw only two while I was there, and one was dead, so it barely even counts. Junkies, the homeless and the creepy aren't really everywhere, either. That's not entirely true. My friend had someone smoke crack then masturbate in front of her on a late-night train ride home. But she had been living there for 2 months before that happened. Odds are, it won't happen to you, but you never know. Remember to bring that digital camera.
Someone told me that the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, area had become so cool and trendy, it was like "'Logan's Run' for (my) kind of people." I have never seen "Logan's Run." In fact, I thought he had said, "Hogan's Run," and assumed he meant Brooklyn was a sort of Nazi war camp for hipsters. But it wasn't, so I guess he just meant that Brooklyn was full of hip young people: which it is. Watch out for them ¸ they're everywhere, and you'll find more of them in the subway stations than rats.
Be prepared to spend more money than you thought you would. Stupid things that you thought wouldn't cost that much will end up costing a fortune, and you will end your trip eating fast food or ketchup on saltines, instead of at the fine-looking restaurant with fusion cooking you had your eye on since the first day. These deceptively expensive things will include: gin and tonics ($8), hotel taxes (about 13%), taxis ($10 to $35) and cigarettes ($7). Bars stay open until
4 a.m., so you will end up smoking and drinking longer than you would here in town, and you will end up riding the subway back to your hotel surrounded by angry-looking people who are on their commute to work. Ignore them, and try not to fall asleep on the train and wake up in the wrong neighborhood, and start running guns for the Acuzza.
The trick, as far as I can tell, to looking like you're from New York is to look pissed off all the time. Narrow your eyes a little bit, don't smile and don't look anybody in the eye when you're on the subway. If you do, narrow your eyes even more, and tell the person you're looking at that you'll beat their ass to the next car. Don't worry, I've seen a few subway fights and no one ever dies.
Oh, and not wearing such Tucson staples as ass-shorts, fraternity and sorority T-shirts and foam sandals helps too. In fact, here's a quiz on fashion in the fashion capitol of the world: Why don't you ever see anyone wearing foam platform sandals in New York? (A) because it's cold; (B) because they are ugly and make you look stupid. If you chose (B), you are ready for a trip to New York. If you said (A), you might not be ready to head to the big city; but I hear Cancun is awesome this time of year.