During my fellowship of almost one year and a half, I have been living in DC. A small green city with a calm atmosphere where a bicycle can easily be your main vehicle. No crowds, no traffics, no noise. The streets are clean, people are polite and relatively quiet. Getting used to that I came live in New York for 2 weeks and… you can’t imagine how my mind was blown. Here are some observations about the biggest differences between the capital of politics Washington, DC and the capital of business, technology, and commerce New York.
First of all, the city. Enormously big, sometimes uncomfortable, never sleeping New York is the total opposite of DC. It seems that it was collected of different parts sometimes even not connected with each other. When you come to East Harlem you feel that you are in Puerto Rico: everywhere are salsa, Puerto Rician flags, and Spanish speech. When you come to Brighton Beach, you feel that you are in the Soviet Union, when you go to Williamsburg, you appear in the center of the Jewish orthodox community. The most interesting thing that people living there seem to be as original as they are. No one tries to hide his personality, style, or way of living, in opposite everyone highlights it as much as it is possible and even more.
Second – the transportation. If in DC you easily can get almost everywhere with a bike, in New York your only option is a metro. A taxi is extremely expensive and doesn’t give you many benefits. You will spend much more time in traffic in a car than taking a train. Be ready that NY metro can be not so clean and comfortable as in Washington, but still it works! And the most important thing that it works 24 hours.
Third – food. It is a myth that everything in NY is expensive. You can easily find absolutely different types of food at an affordable price. Russian salad, Chinese dumplings, Mexican tacos, Italian pizza – in terms of food New York can suggest much more than DC. Of course, if you want to save some money, buying groceries in Manhattan is not the best idea. Brooklyn for that is much better.