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View Full Version : 10 Post-holiday observations about New York/America


King_Ghidra
18-04-2006, 12:14:54
1. The portions aren't as big as everyone says

2. Steam really does come out of the sewer covers

3. People like to beep their horns

4. Everyone is much nicer and more polite than in the UK

5. The streets are a billion times cleaner than in the UK

6. Everyone has tiny dogs

7. Tipping is a source of constant confusion, concern and guilt

8. The tramps actually try and give you stuff in return when you give them money

9. Beer is expensive, even by UK standards

10. If you and your three friends have longish hair and look remotely indie then you will be stared at constantly and also asked if you are in a band at least once a day

mr_G
18-04-2006, 12:20:52
more data on 8 pleezzzz.

Venom
18-04-2006, 12:21:59
You gave a hobo some money? Don't you know what that means? That means they owe you a life debt or something. Like a slighty less hairy and smelly Wookie.

Funko
18-04-2006, 12:29:18
Did you see the areas where you could get fined for beeping? Didn't seem to stop people much. :D

I agree with all those though, especially the beer (especially once you add tips). I was hoping it'd be cheap with the exchange rate so strong. It was cheaper outside NYC though.

maroule
18-04-2006, 12:34:52
I read it quickly and honestly mistook "tramps" for "hookers", and it made total sense

King_Ghidra
18-04-2006, 13:15:07
Well i didn't give any hobos any money because i am a hard-hearted bastard, but unfortunately debaser, gramercy and novacane are soft touches and in various incidents received or were offered both sweets and sunglasses in exchange for their small change or cigarettes

Venom
18-04-2006, 13:26:17
Good man KG.

Stupid hobos could start a business selling that shit.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
18-04-2006, 15:48:32
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
7. Tipping is a source of constant confusion, concern and guilt

And if you live here long enough (having started out in a non-tipping society) this will morph into irritation, and finally into a kind of annoyed resignation. And an almost supernatural ability to work out 15% in your head instantly.

The Mad Monk
18-04-2006, 18:08:48
Or 20%, if you're not cheap.

paiktis22
18-04-2006, 18:12:09
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Well i didn't give any hobos any money because i am a hard-hearted bastard, but unfortunately debaser, gramercy and novacane are soft touches and in various incidents received or were offered both sweets and sunglasses in exchange for their small change or cigarettes

amazing. it's really very much more advantageous to be charitable in the US then.

Caligastia
18-04-2006, 18:27:02
People who give money to bums in NYC are naive fools.

Rekrul
18-04-2006, 18:27:24
20%?!?!?! Ye gods. And there I was thinking that 15% was erring on the generous side...

Caligastia
18-04-2006, 18:29:06
For really good service I give 20% or more. For average service between 15-20. For crap service they get rounded up to the next dollar.

JM^3
18-04-2006, 21:21:49
yeah, 20% for average for me as well...

JM

HelloKitty
18-04-2006, 21:37:08
1. The portions aren't as big as everyone says

4. Everyone is much nicer and more polite than in the UK

5. The streets are a billion times cleaner than in the UK

9. Beer is expensive, even by UK standards

10. If you and your three friends have longish hair and look remotely indie then you will be stared at constantly and also asked if you are in a band at least once a day


This is a list of how Rudi ruined NYC. :(

DaShi
19-04-2006, 03:09:30
But he did have all the homeless secretly killed, except the tramps, it seems.

BigGameHunter
19-04-2006, 05:41:42
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
1. The portions aren't as big as everyone says

Maybe not in NYC proper, but I think by the time you hit the midwest you are eating enough to feed three people anywhere else in the world except Bavaria.

2. Steam really does come out of the sewer covers

Have you seen Escape From New York? That's the hot breath of a million mutants.

3. People like to beep their horns

It's how we signal people to merge.

4. Everyone is much nicer and more polite than in the UK

That's actually a shocker to me. I've heard New Yorkers are fairly blunt, so the UK must be full of complete assholes.


5. The streets are a billion times cleaner than in the UK

Uhhh...don't you guys piss on corners? Hmmm...I'm no math expert but....hmmm.

6. Everyone has tiny dogs

Those are actually shaved rats. It's the latest rage.

7. Tipping is a source of constant confusion, concern and guilt

People don't tip in the UK? Do servers make more than minimum wage? If not, how do they survive, on compliments and leftovers?

8. The tramps actually try and give you stuff in return when you give them money

I once negotiated a deal with two homeless men to watch my truck in a dicey part of town in exchange for all the bottles and cans in the bed (we get money for them in Oregon and some other states). When I returned from my drinking they were still there, guarding it for me.

9. Beer is expensive, even by UK standards
@$2-4 here, depending on size and quality. Cases range from @$12 for cheap canned on up for bottled good stuff. Wine can be had fairly cheap, though.

10. If you and your three friends have longish hair and look remotely indie then you will be stared at constantly and also asked if you are in a band at least once a day

That is the required look in Portland...is everyone a 1940's throwback in NY???

I'd love to hear more insights...

Koshko
19-04-2006, 06:21:46
Wow the Brits must really be bitter jerks given the rep of New Yorkers.

shagnasty
19-04-2006, 07:39:50
4. Everyone is much nicer and more polite than in the UK


Thats cos we've all got sticks up our arses. WOOHOO

Morte
19-04-2006, 07:57:16
Nope, evidently everyone in the UK hates King_Ghidra.

If you want rude (well brusque) then come to Bulgaria.

Funko
19-04-2006, 08:10:11
Minimum wage here is 5.05 (about $8.80), rising to 5.35 ($9.36) later this year.

Most bar staff (around here at least) will make more than that. Many pubs give their full time staff free accommodation in the pubs as well.

JM^3
19-04-2006, 08:15:40
bar staff make a lot in the US also

JM

Funko
19-04-2006, 08:19:27
So why tip them then? :confused:

JM^3
19-04-2006, 08:27:23
err, it is a lot from the tips..

JM

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 08:56:54
Originally posted by BigGameHunter
I'd love to hear more insights...

re the tipping question, and i'm conscious this has ben discussed a zillion times already, but whatever...yes we tip in the uk, but not for bar staff. I'm used to tipping when i have a meal, but at about 10%, not 15+%. Certainly tipping bar staff feels weird, especially when the beer is already more expensive...

anyway, i don't have a problem with the whole thing, 'when in rome' and all that, but my feeling was that we were never sure if we had tipped appropriately or not or if the guy was offended or we had been super generous or whatever. It was complicated by their being 4 of us and having to each try and find change or work it out appropriately.

Funko
19-04-2006, 08:58:28
First time I went to a bar the drinks came to exactly $20 and I didn't have anything smaller than that. What do you do then?

:confused:

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 08:58:28
Also i should say that i'm conscious that manhattan is not necessarily representative of either NY as a whole or america in general, in the same way that central london is not representative of the UK

Funko
19-04-2006, 08:59:46
And even within Manhattan, like in central london, the prices varied quite a lot.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-04-2006, 09:33:37
About California/Nevada:

1. The portions aren't as big as everyone says

-- Well that varied, but the only decent portions at decent prices were mexican restaurants. Eg big pizza available, but obscenely expensive.

2. Steam really does come out of the sewer covers

-- there is no steam coming from UK sewer covers? Are you people so cold, or is it so warm around KG?

3. People like to beep their horns

-- especially as a signal for the remote key function of the cars. extremely annoying.

7. Tipping is a source of constant confusion, concern and guilt

-- Indeed. I'm used to 5-10 % as an option, not 15-20 % as a must. Also, tax as an extra!

8. The tramps actually try and give you stuff in return when you give them money

-- The tramps in San Francisco did not look that prosperous.

9. Beer is expensive, even by UK standards

-- beer and wine, in shops and restaurants, one big ripoff.

10. If you and your three friends have longish hair...

-- No idea, I went for the balding accountant look.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-04-2006, 09:34:03
Originally posted by Funko
First time I went to a bar the drinks came to exactly $20 and I didn't have anything smaller than that. What do you do then?

:confused:

ogp: Drink more.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-04-2006, 09:36:38
bgh: "@$2-4 here, depending on size and quality."

restaurant/pub or retail?

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 09:57:29
Originally posted by Dyl Ulenspiegel

2. Steam really does come out of the sewer covers

-- there is no steam coming from UK sewer covers? Are you people so cold, or is it so warm around KG?

I've never seen steam coming from UK sewers, or heard of it either. I think to most brits, the sewer steam thing is very much one of those images of NY.

I can't say i even understand why it would happen. Google time i guess.

Funko
19-04-2006, 10:02:45
Originally posted by Dyl Ulenspiegel
bgh: "@$2-4 here, depending on size and quality."

restaurant/pub or retail?

In Manhattan it was $4-6 for a US pint (472ml)

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-04-2006, 11:05:11
Sometimes I see steam from sewers here. Just temperature differences, I suppose, between hot water (from baths, kitchen, industry coolants etc) and cold air. The denser the population, the more likely. (I mean, the higher the population density....)

Another reason may be distance heating tubes running through the sewer tunnels, but they should be sufficiently isolated.

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 11:42:21
apparently:

steam wafting up from the streets is often vapor produced when underground water hits hot equipment and escapes from beneath the streets

from an interesting article about actual steam usage in NY:

http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20031110/200/674

from this page with info about other NY services:

http://www.gothamgazette.com/breakdown/

Greg W
19-04-2006, 11:45:13
God I love living in a country where tipping is never compulsory, and never expected really (though it's good manners to tip good service - note "good service", not "any service"). And where tax is included in all prices, not something you have to add on afterwards.

Funko
19-04-2006, 11:46:34
Ooooh, after some hard googling I have an answer. :beer:

Why does New York rely so overwhelmingly on steam heat? Isn't that old-fashioned?
"It's been around since 1882," says Con Edison spokesman Joseph Petta, "but it's actually an extremely efficient and environmentally friendly means of providing warmth and hot water." Seven steam-generating plants burn natural gas and fuel oil to boil water and bring the heat to Manhattan. (The other boroughs are steam-free.) The resulting steam is either used to turn turbines and make electricity, or pumped directly into a 105-mile network of highly pressured pipes. Happily, leaks are rare (the stuff we see escaping from manholes is usually vapor, the result of leaking water touching scalding-hot pipes underground). During the summer, Con Ed sells excess steam to power air-conditioning units in the 100,000 city buildings that tap into the New York system. Pretty cool.
Clare Lambe

http://www.timeoutny.com/newyork/Details.do?page=7&xyurl=xyl://TONYWebArticles1/533-534/features/winter_mysteries_solved.xml

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 11:46:45
yeah i forgot the tax thing, that was annoying too

my awesome 99 cent watch ended up costing me $1.08

Funko
19-04-2006, 11:47:46
Damnit I was too slow. :(

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 11:48:49
Originally posted by Funko
Ooooh, after some hard googling I have an answer. :beer:


see my links above, the steam from the streets is not the same steam apparently

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-04-2006, 11:49:42
"the result of leaking water touching scalding-hot pipes underground"

Ok, scrap my "they should be sufficiently insulated" theory. :D

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 11:50:22
:D

Funko
19-04-2006, 11:50:25
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
see my links above, the steam from the streets is not the same steam apparently

So, you didn't read the bits in brackets in my quote then?

King_Ghidra
19-04-2006, 11:52:19
now why would i do a silly thing like that

Venom
19-04-2006, 12:03:08
Originally posted by Funko
First time I went to a bar the drinks came to exactly $20 and I didn't have anything smaller than that. What do you do then?

:confused:

I explained to you how to do this.

Funko
19-04-2006, 12:08:40
I don't remember though. On no, wait I do remember. You say "I'll get you next time". :beer:

Funko
19-04-2006, 12:59:08
Oh yeah, about the portions.

In Manhattan they were pretty normal sized. In Jersey I think we pretty much couldn't finish anything but everywhere would pack us whatever we couldn't eat to take with us.

Fistandantilus
19-04-2006, 13:13:45
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
yeah i forgot the tax thing, that was annoying too

my awesome 99 cent watch ended up costing me $1.08

That is simply retarded. Tipping I can understand (altough here pretty much nobody does it at all) but taxes have to be included.

Is that some sort of forced training of your math skills or what?

Venom
19-04-2006, 13:31:54
Originally posted by Funko
I don't remember though. On no, wait I do remember. You say "I'll get you next time". :beer:

Exactly, and if you don't go back, so what. Tipping bar tenders is much less important than tipping table servers.

Caligastia
19-04-2006, 16:05:33
Originally posted by Funko
First time I went to a bar the drinks came to exactly $20 and I didn't have anything smaller than that. What do you do then?

:confused:

Give two twenties. You'll get back the twenty broken up into smaller denominations so you can tip.

Lurker the Second
19-04-2006, 16:10:42
Originally posted by Venom
Exactly, and if you don't go back, so what. Tipping bar tenders is much less important than tipping table servers.

I have to disagree with that. Tipping table servers is essentially mandatory unless something totally fucked up happens, but tipping bartenders well gets you served quickly in crowded bars and also free drinks once you're a regular.

Caligastia
19-04-2006, 16:13:10
Better to just run up a tab rather than tip for every drink served.

Venom
19-04-2006, 16:22:03
Originally posted by Lurker the Second
I have to disagree with that. Tipping table servers is essentially mandatory unless something totally fucked up happens, but tipping bartenders well gets you served quickly in crowded bars and also free drinks once you're a regular.

Those things only apply if you're throwing back a lot a drinks. And if you're doing that, you should just have a tab.

Tizzy
19-04-2006, 19:19:12
Originally posted by Funko


In Manhattan they were pretty normal sized. In Jersey I think we pretty much couldn't finish anything

Except the hotdogs.
Mmm, hotdogs.

Koshko
19-04-2006, 23:53:07
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
yeah i forgot the tax thing, that was annoying too

my awesome 99 cent watch ended up costing me $1.08

You should have bought that watch elsewhere. You could have gotten it for only $1.05 in places.

Koshko
19-04-2006, 23:54:07
Originally posted by Tizzy
Except the hotdogs.
Mmm, hotdogs.

You probably don't want to know what's actually in those things.

Immortal Wombat
20-04-2006, 00:35:51
hot dogs?

Koshko
20-04-2006, 02:58:20
Let's just say that dog would be an upgrade compared to the 'meat' within a hot dog.

Oerdin
20-04-2006, 03:39:48
Originally posted by Koshko
You probably don't want to know what's actually in those things.

If you're squeamish then just order a Hebrew National or some other brand of kosher hotdog and you know exactly what's in them.

Drekkus
24-04-2006, 10:48:58
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
1. The portions aren't as big as everyone says

2. Steam really does come out of the sewer covers

3. People like to beep their horns

4. Everyone is much nicer and more polite than in the UK

5. The streets are a billion times cleaner than in the UK

6. Everyone has tiny dogs

7. Tipping is a source of constant confusion, concern and guilt

8. The tramps actually try and give you stuff in return when you give them money

9. Beer is expensive, even by UK standards

10. If you and your three friends have longish hair and look remotely indie then you will be stared at constantly and also asked if you are in a band at least once a day This is pretty much what I found last summer in the US (except for #10). Especially #4 surprised me. Maybe that is because in a welfarestate like most countries in Europe, people don't have to care for others anymore, since that's the goverment's job.

mr_G
24-04-2006, 10:53:46
^^ he is getting all mature :cry:

Drekkus
24-04-2006, 10:56:33
Oh, grow up.

:p

Tizzy
24-04-2006, 11:00:05
He can't grow any more

mr_G
24-04-2006, 11:10:50
jesjes i'm shrinking

nevah evah go to a shrink!!!!

Drekkus
24-04-2006, 11:12:46
Soon my son will tower over you, and push you around.

Greg W
24-04-2006, 11:14:30
mr_G? Grow Up? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

mr_G
24-04-2006, 11:17:44
Originally posted by Drekkus
Soon my son will tower over you, and push you around. i'll give'm a month

Tizzy
24-04-2006, 11:20:28
That's optimistic, I figured on next week

mr_G
24-04-2006, 11:24:47
jesjes mr optimistic G

Venom
24-04-2006, 12:06:53
The incredible, shrinking Mr G.

Who is optimistic about shrinking.

mr_G
24-04-2006, 12:16:34
just two weeks and i can walk around on my laptop.

Venom
24-04-2006, 12:38:59
You could probably do that now, but not without breaking it.

Tizzy
24-04-2006, 13:08:21
Originally posted by mr_G
just two weeks and i can walk around on my laptop.

Wow, and jump on the keys to post. Koel.

mr_G
24-04-2006, 13:10:05
jesjes
do a little dance
while banging my toy bassdrum

Darkstar
24-04-2006, 21:10:55
Originally posted by mr_G
while banging my toy bassdrum

Your drum is made of bass? That must really stink!

King_Ghidra
01-09-2006, 09:10:30
I forgot number 11.

The statue of liberty is tiny. and people from the UK think it is huge because of bullshit trompe l'oeil pictures like this:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturevulture/archives/GetSpencerPlatt_ny3.jpg

Dyl Ulenspiegel
01-09-2006, 09:15:24
Well, it's french, what do you expect....

Funko
01-09-2006, 09:35:19
I thought it was just really far away!

Funko
01-09-2006, 09:36:24
Which is actually a serious point, bearing in mind how far the statue is from manhattan, how could they take a photo which had manhattan in the background that didn't look like that?

Funko
01-09-2006, 09:37:12
Oh... they need to put a London bus and/or a Brontosaurus in the picture for scale.

mr_G
01-09-2006, 09:45:08
great construction tho.......that mr. Eiffel is not that bad for a frenchie

Funko
01-09-2006, 09:45:25
http://www.muf.me.uk/files/libertywithbus.jpg

King_Ghidra
01-09-2006, 09:52:36
Originally posted by Funko
Which is actually a serious point, bearing in mind how far the statue is from manhattan, how could they take a photo which had manhattan in the background that didn't look like that?

actually that picture wasn't even that bad, i should have picked one of those ones where they just show the head or body of the statue of liberty without the island for at least some kind of scale

Funko
01-09-2006, 09:53:48
Yeah, there are some where it totally dwarfs manhattan. :D

King_Ghidra
01-09-2006, 09:59:50
woah badass! Those jets are way out of scale though :lol:

http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Landmarks/images/post-statue.jpg

Funko
01-09-2006, 10:02:17
I guess they are in front of the statue? :confused:

Scabrous Birdseed
01-09-2006, 10:04:18
If you use a telephoto lens and stand far away you could get the appearance of the statue being very close to Manhattan.

King_Ghidra
01-09-2006, 10:05:34
ooh this is a bit more like it, a great trick shot. it's half the size of the WTC!

http://ggsltd.com/pcd/catalog/display/NY0014.jpg

Funko
01-09-2006, 10:15:41
You'll like this one I guess:

http://www.sylviastuurman.nl/stories/newyork/dag2/IMG_4708.jpg

King_Ghidra
01-09-2006, 10:30:31
i mean, i know it's not actually tiny as such, but i did find it about the only thing about NY that underwhelmed me rather than overwhelmed me

Mr. Bas
01-09-2006, 10:33:56
What was overwhelming was the massive queue for the boat trip, it would've taken hours before you'd be able to get on.

Funko
01-09-2006, 10:35:54
Yeah, we totally couldn't be bothered. Took a photo of the queue and headed to the pub to meet some nerds.

Mr. Bas
01-09-2006, 10:51:51
Apparently the best option is to simply take the ferry to Staten Island, you get a good view without queues and almost for free. At least, that's what the guy in the pub said, in the end we didn't do that either.

fp
01-09-2006, 10:53:47
I too thought that the Statue of Liberty would be a lot bigger than it is, but...

A queue for the ferry? WTF? You just turn up and wait for it to arrive, then get on it. I guess I was just a lot luckier than you guys.

Funko
01-09-2006, 10:55:02
We had the same experience at the Empire State building, walked right in and then saw this huge queue form behind us.

SoL ferry queue was over 2 hours according to the markings when we were there.

fp
01-09-2006, 10:55:42
x-post

Ah, I see. Yes I took the ferry to Staten Island instead of going straight to whatever little island the SoL is on. Seriously, that's way more sensible. You slowly cruise past pretty close to the SoL (twice) and you'll never have to wait very long for the ferry.

Funko
01-09-2006, 11:00:19
Yeah, we could have done that, but really we couldn't be bothered.

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 11:05:38
Didn't really have time either, we still had to walk half of Manhatten (that's what it felt like anyway) to meet the nerds.

Funko
01-09-2006, 11:10:30
Luckily we had someone with us who finds it impossible to get lost in New York, so we didn't make any wrong turnings.

Venom
01-09-2006, 11:48:47
I believe it was you who got us lost that day.

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 12:01:20
HA!

Funko
01-09-2006, 12:07:09
And you and Tizzy, despite knowing we were going the wrong way, and being really tired of walking, happily went along with me?

Mr. Bas
01-09-2006, 12:07:23
Getting lost on a rectangular grid, good job!

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 12:09:45
Originally posted by Funko
And you and Tizzy, despite knowing we were going the wrong way, and being really tired of walking, happily went along with me?

As soon as I realised it was the wrong way we turned around.
If stupid Braodway hadn't been there I'd have realised sooner.

Funko
01-09-2006, 12:10:21
It was actually the guide book's fault anyway.

Venom
01-09-2006, 12:14:35
I'll do my own getting lost, thankyouverymuch.

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 12:20:33
It was Lurker's fault really.

mr_G
01-09-2006, 12:20:57
no way!!!!

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 12:33:03
yes way!

mr_G
01-09-2006, 12:53:39
yes?

you and your funny words

Funko
01-09-2006, 12:55:42
She means jes.

Mr. Bas
01-09-2006, 12:58:47
Jesjes!

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 13:08:01
Originally posted by mr_G
yes?

you and your funny words

It's my accent.

Venom
01-09-2006, 13:14:34
ACK AYE!

fp
01-09-2006, 13:20:56
THA NOO!

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 14:16:01
Och, wheest.

Mr. Bas
01-09-2006, 14:54:01
What's this, the Jim Nukker impersonation thread?

Funko
01-09-2006, 14:56:24
I think "och, wheest" means "oh, shut up" something along those lines.

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 15:06:33
Aye.

Lurker the Second
01-09-2006, 15:11:21
Blame me all you want, but from my perspective the plan worked perfectly.

Venom
01-09-2006, 15:11:54
ACK aye, you mean.

Tizzy
01-09-2006, 15:15:38
I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

The Mad Monk
01-09-2006, 21:21:47
Try telling that to the Cheshire Cat.