{This was our first glimpse of the Empire State Building}

Everything you’ve heard about New York is true. It is a living, breathing entity that does not stop for anything or anybody. It is always on the move.

On our first day, as we navigated through the bustling streets, we came to a stoplight and waited patiently on the curb for the glowing orange hand to turn into a walking man. Soon, however, it became blatantly obvious that this is not how it’s done in New York. As we stood waiting, a multitude of people pushed past us and into the street. Some looked up the one-way street for any traffic, but most didn’t. They were too caught up in their phones, or iPods, or newspapers. They wanted to cross the street and so they did, walking man or no.

After realizing that waiting for the light to turn green was more of a hazard to ourselves than just going with the flow, we started to adhere to this strange New York phenomenon. In the beginning we’d always check for traffic first before entering the street and walking against the glowing orange hand. But, as will happen in crowds, eventually we found ourselves stepping out into the street with the hurrying New Yorkers, entirely forgetting about the walking signals. One such time, when we hadn’t looked for traffic, a yellow taxi cab came zipping past and narrowly missed the lady in front of us (on her phone, of course). Because, you see, as much as the people walking on the sidewalks are in a hurry, taxi cabs are always in a bigger hurry.

When we got back to Calgary it took a bit to adjust back to the normal way of acting at an intersection. Oh, right, people wait here. People are patient and say ‘Hello’ and hold doors open for you. In New York they take what they want when they want it.

It was fascinating, and perplexing, and exhilarating, and exhausting.

Don’t even get me started on the Subway.

{We were those tourists who got stuck in the turnstile while trying to swipe our Metro cards to get onto the platform. Oops.}