Back home it’s not the easiest to get around. Sydney is so sprawled and public transport isn’t convenient and quick enough to get you places. If you want to get from the eastern suburbs to the hills or from the northern beaches to Newtown, it’s going to take a very long time. But in NYC? Subways connect everywhere.
The subway, despite its overly warm stations, is awesome – especially in Manhattan. Even if you don’t live in the East village, it’s probably only one transfer on the subway away. And staying out late? Instead of the last bus being just before midnight (thanks Balmain), the subway runs all night long.
This isn’t just great because it gets people to and from work easily – it’s great because if you can get almost everywhere you want to go by public transport, then you have no need for a car. And that’s what you see – no New Yorker I met owned a vehicle, and apartment blocks don’t need to have parking lots underneath like they do back home.
It’s so great – if you want to meet a friend anywhere in town, you just give them the subway station to meet at, or they tell you where they work and you know you can get there easily. None of this “oh I don’t want come into the city – it’s so far” or “parking in Darlinghurst is a shitfight”, you just go! Suddenly the barriers for meeting up crumble down.
And what’s the opposite? Cities like Los Angeles, where it’s next to impossible to get anywhere without cars. The city sprawls, more highways are built, and people spend more time in their own vehicles and block the roads.
So yes, New York is cramped, dense, busy and never sleeping, but at least if you ever want to go anywhere or do anything at any hour, you can.