Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Visiting New York

I have just returned from my third visit to New York. I really really like that city. Of course, as a short term visitor staying in the better areas, it's easy to find experiences to enjoy.

In between work related commitments, we took in three shows on Broadway, spent some time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (nowhere close to being sufficient), visited the Guggenheim, took in a slow walk through Central Park and ate too much.

A few observations:
  • Shoes made in China are cheaper in New York (even with the NY sales tax) than in Hong Kong.
  • The city did not feel busy. Maybe my comparisons are off, but for the most part it does not feel as busy as Hong Kong.
  • Food portions in restaurants are huge.
  • Service standards are better than Europe (an admittedly low threshold) but not as good as most places in Asia.
  • We noticed that some places added 15% to the bill as a mandatory tip while other left it to our discretion (with 15% or more being expected). The former nearly caught us out the first time - we came close to double tipping.

The only negative was the 19 hour delay on the return flight with Cathay. These things happen but turn a long tiring journey into a really exhausting experience. That said, the cabin crew really did everything that could be expected on the service front.

Hopefully we will go again next year.

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