Statue of Liberty – thanks to Gayle Lindgren on stock.xchng

No blogging for a week or more.  Reason? – a family holiday to New York (see my earlier posts about the trials and tribulations of BA – in the event they turned up trumps and even managed to reinstate their strike-cancelled flights for the day we flew).

I promised some “off the wall stuff” in this blog so here it is from someone who last visited NYC more years ago than you want to know.

New Yorkers are robust in how they speak but kind too.  In a week I heard not one profanity nor felt unsafe once but received unsought advice on subway and pedestrian navigation.  An Amtrak clerk spent a disproportionate amount of his time explaining the fare options for a day trip to Washington DC to a family that decided that they’d left it too late to get a good deal.

In an hour back at Heathrow two casual “f***ing”s were uttered in my hearing by fellow citizens, one by someone getting stuck into at least his second pint at 8 a.m.  In many ways we are a coarsened society.

But different culture, same challenges.  Notices on bus stops advising of cancelled routes due to funding  constraints.  Staff in the fantastic New York Public Library warning of cuts to come if the mayor’s budget proposals go through.  The five borough district attorneys complaining that proposed cuts made their role untenable (join the club guys).

Notwithstanding public budget problems, a week’s unlimited travel on the subway cost $27 (about £18.40) with a Metro Card.  Nearest Transport for London equivalent? – £67.70 (about $99.70).  Incidentally, for a lesson on how not to make public transport fares simple see the Transport for London web page on Tube, DLR and London Overground fares – no fewer than 3,900 different fare combinations for six different categories of passengers.

There could be much more – and may be…