One last note about my recent trip to NYC.
While there, I fell in love with lower Manhattan--the west side. What's not to love? Everything extraordinary money can buy and more all concentrated in one small area--gorgeous riverside parks with an expansive view of Jersey City (believe it or not, quite lovely in its own way), sailboats, barges, tour boats, water-taxis, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the "Russian" Train station from which many of the people who passed through Ellis Island set out for parts west. Continue down and around to Battery Park and eventually up to Fulton Street shops, markets, restaurants, etc.
What I observed in all of this was a corner of New York in which the pace was not quite so frenetic, and the speed a touch slower than other places--for example Lexington and 48th, where one night I had dinner. We arrived a little early for the dinner appointment and walked up Lexington to the Waldorf Astoria and back. The whole time I seemed to be trapped in a seething, chaotic, roiling, mass of people, traffic, and solid, unbreathable air. The buildings and shops along the way provided momentary respite from the surge, but the overall experience, were it sustained for any greater length of time, would have been insupportable.
Now, it is this latter, electric, kinetic New York City that provides the chief draw for a great many, I'm sure. It is what I think of when I think of New York City. Yet, as with most cities, there are many faces--and the face of the Battery and parts of Tribeca, was that of a smaller, more intimate, somewhat slower, more comfortable community. I had decided that I could easily live in these areas--which just goes to show you what champagne tastes on a beer budget can do.