Hello everyone! How is everybody? EcomのJennです。
第1位：New York – Times Square（ニューヨーク－タイムズ・スクエア）
第2位：New York – Central Park （ニューヨーク－セントラル・パーク）
第3位：Washington, D.C. – Union Station（ワシントンD.C.－ユニオン駅）
See you again next time! Bye for now!
4 thoughts on “アメリカの人気観光地TOP6(前編)”
Hello Jenn, How are you?
I always look forward to reading your interesting topics. I’m glad that this time, you introduced us the places we should visit in the US. NY is my second hometown because I stayed there a couple of years. I lived in New Jersey, and I usually drove to Manhattan. However, parking was so expensive that I parked my car at Columbia University’s parking lot and took a subway to go downtown.
Times Square is a famous tourist’s spot and the place is usually crowded with people. It gives us the image of “That’s the center of NY”.
I like Upper East Side and Central Park because the area is rather quiet, clean and safe. Metropolitan Museum of Art was one of my favorite places and the café was nice and quiet.
I didn’t go to Union Station in D.C., but I like Grand Central Station in NY. I really like to go to NY again.
Hello Seiichi! I am well, thank you. How are you?
I’m glad that you enjoyed the topic this time. Although I have only really driven through New York, I would really love to take a trip down there and take the time to explore these sites. Maybe I’ll go by bus if parking is
The Metropolitan Museum of Art sounds like an interesting place to visit and I would definitely like to take a walk through Central Park sometime. I
saw that you recently had the chance to visit New York again and it sounds like it was quite a trip! Although you did point out many of the problems with the city, and American culture in general, it still sounds like an
interesting place to visit, but maybe not so much to llive.
Thank you very much for your reply. I recently came back from NY and I upload my short diary of my trip. It’s a bit long, but I appreciate if you could read it.
I took a summer vacation, and I had a chance to go to New York from August 10th to 15th with my wife and a 21-year-old son. I’m going to tell you about New York. This story is written exclusively from my point of view. Therefore, if you have some other opinions about the city and the life in New York, I’d like to hear your ideas.
I’ve been planning to visit NY for many years because the city is my second hometown. From 1998 to 1991, I had the opportunity to work at Columbia University School of Medicine as a postdoctoral research fellow. My family lived in New Jersey, and I commuted to work through George Washington Bridge every day. Therefore, I can recall my adventurous life when I used to smell the pungent steam from the streets of Manhattan.
When we arrived at JFK airport, dusty brown colored buildings and the bumpy highway reminded me of my good old memories. Actually, not so many things had changed since I left NY. A sullen African American taxi driver took us to our hotel by Central Park. When we arrived at the Ritz Carlton, he said something about the fare in a heavy accent. I couldn’t get it, but I gave him a generous tip. He finally smiled at me and said, “Thank you, Sir.” He should have understood that we might have been rich enough to stay at the Ritz. He should have said something nice if he wanted an extra tip from me.
I realized that in NY, money solves everything. At the hotel reception, I asked an Asian receptionist to upgrade our rooms. She said, “A suite room with a Central Park view is available. Would you like to stay the room?” I asked “How much would it be?” She said without hesitation,”$2000 a night, Sir. And you could use the Club Lounge.” I said, “I’d like to stay in a room with a Park view, and I want to use the Club Lounge. That’s all.” Finally, we were able to upgrade our room and had the privilege of using the lounge and the fitness club with the addition of $400 a night.
We hurried to go upstairs to have a late lunch at the lounge. While we were sitting at the table, another receptionist came to the lounge and told us that the rooms were ready. I realized that the upgrade of our rooms had expedited our early check-in.
We walked to the Museum of National History on West 81st Street. When we lived in NY, we usually used my car to go everywhere. Therefore, I seldom walked in Manhattan. During our recent trip, it took about 15 minutes from 59th street to 81st street. Therefore, we walked one street per minute. Travelers were all over the street walking up and down with a map of NY. The history museum is huge, but it was a bit boring. The exhibitions had not changed since we left NY. I still remember the skeletons and the stuffed animals. The fee was $24 per person. We also visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The art museum is also huge and has a lot of exhibitions. It might take a couple days to see all the art in the building. However, the fee was $25 and the audio guide was $7 per person. I still remember that the fee of the Metropolitan Museum was $6 per person in the 1990s.
Everything was so expensive in Manhattan. I thought it might be less expensive if we bought a Metro Card. We went down into a subway station and bought our Metro cards. There was only one vending machine, and there was no station staff. I managed to purchase two metro cards with my credit card, but I couldn’t buy another one with the same credit card. Somehow, the vending machine declined my credit card. There were a couple of people waiting in line after us to buy tickets. The machine only accepted credit cards, so it took more than 15 minutes to buy three Metro cards because I had to use a different credit card. I imagine people in Manhattan have to endure all these inconveniencies when they purchase their tickets. I saw a couple of African American boys jumping through the gate and walking to the platform. If I were tall enough, I could have jumped the gate, too.
The subway station was dark and stuffy. The trains were the same as they were a quarter century ago and gave us an uncomfortable ride. An African American guy next to me asked a white woman for food saying that he hadn’t eaten anything for days. The woman looked perplexed. I was surprised when a young, white woman a few feet away from me suddenly spoke up in the car and preached to passengers to pray to God. I looked around, but everyone was ignoring her. A white guy in a wheelchair went around asking for money. From watching the DVD, Gossip Girls, I know that rich people who live in the Upper East Side always take a taxi instead of getting on the subway. I understood why those rich people always get on a taxi in Manhattan.
We took a yellow cab in the afternoon and asked the driver to go to New Jersey. The driver said that his work would be over soon and he refused to let us in his cab. I looked for another yellow cab and asked the driver to go to NJ. He said it would cost $200 round trip to New Jersey plus tips. I negotiated the fee and he agreed to take us there for $150. He then turned off the meter saying that he would take a break. I didn’t understand why he said so, but I realized that he cheated us on the fare.
He was originally from Turkey and had lived in Queens more than 30 years. He was gregarious and asked me what I was doing for living in Japan. After finding out my occupation, he complained about his back pain and the numbness in his legs. He said, in the evenings, his legs got so numb. He underwent spinal surgery at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, and the doctor gave him too much painkiller. He finally got addicted to Vicodin. But, he was under Medicaid, and he didn’t pay for the bill. He said that his copay was only $3 for each doctor visit. He complained that it was the doctor’s fault that he got addicted to the drug. I was scared that I might get involved in a traffic accident because of our addict driver. He confided in me about his divorce and told me that he needed money for his ex-wife and daughter in Turkey.
He said he didn’t know the way to Palisades Park where we used to live. Therefore, he asked me to sit in the passenger’s seat to tell him the way. My memory of the roads had faded after a quarter of a century, but I managed to tell him the place. He said he usually drove in Manhattan and seldom went to New Jersey. Usually, Japanese taxi drivers are willing to drive long distances, and they know about the roads pretty well.
We finally arrived at my old house. We lived on the second floor in a duplex house. The owner of the house lived downstairs. I knocked at the door and Mrs. K, the owner, greeted us. I expressed my condolence when I found out Mr. K passed away several years ago. The house and the street were exactly the same as they used to be. The taxi driver took pictures of us in front of the house and took us around the town. I told him that the town was exactly the same when as it was when we used to live there. He said that NY had not changed so much for a couple of decades, but he said we had grown older. I paid him the fare and a generous amount of tip.We came back to the hotel without getting into any accidents.
Money solved everything in Manhattan. The club lounge at the Ritz offered us appetizers and variety of liquors. However, we had to pay tips to waiters and waitresses whenever we ordered something extra. They were African Americans, Latinos and Asians. The receptionists at the lounge were all white people. The black waiters were unresponsive while bringing food and cleaning the tables even though I gave them tips. However, Asians and Latinos became rather cheerful when I gave them tips. They were willing to serve me extra glasses of Champaign and wine. The housemaids came by often to our room bringing us something to drink, and each time I gave them tips.
When we dropped in at a Japanese Ramen shop, an Asian waitress gave me a bill and asked us to go to the cashier. I was a bit relieved that I might not need to pay tips, but I was disappointed to find out that 15% of the tip was included on the bill.
I guess a lot of waiters and waitresses at fast-food chains are forgetful and absentminded because maybe they cannot accept tips from customers. When I went to Starbucks and ordered a Café Latte and paid the bill, the waitress forgot my order. I had to wait a couple of minutes at the serving table until they remembered my order. I wonder if they could follow the customer’s orders if the customer had a bit of a complicated order, for example, a small cappuccino with a medium amount of whip cream.
In addition, American sales clerks seem to be less professional than those in Japan. When I went to a Yankee’s shop, I asked them whether or not they had caps with adjustable backs. They said that there aren’t any of those, but I found a lot of adjustable caps on the shelf. I bought two caps, and the cashier put them into a bag with their antitheft tags still on. When I went back to the hotel, I realized that those caps still had the tags on, and the devices couldn’t be removed.
I took an express subway to go to Columbia University School of Medicine on 168th Street where I used to work. The area was called Spanish Harlem at that time, but the dilapidated buildings had been torn down and there were new buildings all over the place. I saw nurses with blue scrubs getting on and off of the city buses. I’m afraid that some communicable diseases would be spread by those nurses wearing their uniforms.
The security was tight, and I couldn’t go inside the hospital without an ID, but the viruses and bacteria on the uniform could spread from the hospital. The buildings of the hospital were the same as before: very old and sooty.
I was also skeptical about the hygiene on the street. There were a lot of stalls on the streets, but the vendors wiped their hands on their dirty aprons and sometimes scratched their asses. I used to buy a bagel with cream cheese at a stall on the street near the hospital, but I was lucky that I never got infected with toxic germs.
The next day, we went to Battery Park and got on a boat to go to Liberty Island. We then went to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and Wall Street. I remembered that I had gone to the Twin Towers and looked down from the top floor to see Manhattan. The towers were tall and the view from the top was fantastic.
I reminisce about good old days when Americans accepted immigrants and lived happily together. What did the Statue of Liberty see on 9/11, and what did she feel about the present prosperity on Wall Street? Did she observe silently the Occupy Wall Street movement? Had it been justified considering 1% of white collar workers exploit the bottom 99% of blue collar workers?
I think the life in the US is still based on the system of slavery. It can’t be helped when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in the US. Minimum wage workers relying on tips cannot climb up the social ladder. They cannot go to the prestigious universities because the tuition is exorbitant. On the other hand, the rich on Wall Street can expand their wealth with one click on the computer. Actually, I saw a group of businessmen in the club lounge at the Ritz preparing for a presentation of their products.
NY is the city that I like the best. However, I couldn’t live in the city because I cannot afford to pay tips to various workers. I don’t want to live in NY surrounded by a lot of homeless and weird people. I can’t endure a society where money solves everything.
Going back to NY after a quarter of a century, I realized that the city and the people in NY have not changed so much. Since living in New York, I have really become old and want to live peacefully in Japan without being worried about money.
I didn’t write my name in the previous article. Sorry about it.