I was just lucky enough to spend five days in New York city with a group of friends and we had a blast. I was amazed how much the city has changed, even in the few years since I've been there. I could have counted the crazies we encountered on one hand. There was very little trash on the street, and cops all over the place. I never had a problem catching a cab and other than being cold (30 degrees is cold to me, shh) our experience was wonderful. We even went down into the Bowery and up into Hell's Kitchen. Other than the scowling hipsters, I felt welcome wherever we went. People were polite and had a sense of humor. I never felt in danger (other than my wallet cringing when I went to the Sanrio store in Times Square - I only bought one thing, you should be proud of me). The food was good (except one lukewarm latte, darn it) and the prices were reasonable.
My husband grew up in Brooklyn and I love his stories of the city and his adventures, like when he was a teenager skipping school and heading down to sketchy Canal street for cheap electronic parts and a crazy dude with a screwdriver stealing his belt on the subway. That is not the New York of today, it's clean and friendly while being the same vibrant and interesting place it has always been. The shopping is weird and awesome, and the architecture is gorgeous.
I was rather naughty and spent more time yapping with my friends, walking about 20 miles through the streets and shopping than taking photos (I have almost no photographs of any interest, I only took pictures of my friends being morons). But here's a photo of some of the cool things I came home with from various places all over the city.