January 9, 2012 § 3 Comments
As some of you may know, my Mom passed away at the end of December, hence my absence of the last few weeks from the blog. We were actually set to visit her in Atlanta on Dec. 24, where she’d been living for the last eight years or so, but my sister, who also lives there, called with the news on Dec. 21. So we had to reroute the trip to New York for the funeral. She was 92.
Although I’m a Native New Yorker and spent the first 18 years of my life there, I hadn’t been back to the Big Apple in a really long time. Many people compare New York to Berlin.
After our week stay there, I have to say I don’t know why.
The two cities are really different.
New York has well over twice the population of Berlin — some 8.4 million vs. 3.4 million. And it just feels a lot more crowded due to the numerous skyscrapers and the lay of the land. I’m not sure if Berliners really appreciate that their city, a major European capital, has so many open spaces and so much green.
Actually our visit to New York improved Berlin’s standing in my daughter’s eyes. She couldn’t wait to leave the city.
New York is also dirtier than Berlin. It’s louder. And of course it is way more expensive. You can still find one bedroom apartments in Berlin for around $ 700, and sometimes less if you’re really lucky.
That is just not available in New York, where you’re lucky to find something under $ 2,000.
On the plus side for New York: It is way more multicultural than Berlin, has a bigger and better offering of ethnic food, especially Chinese, and is friendlier.
It’s just easier to strike up a random conversation with someone.
But, as my kids say, that may have more to do with the American v. German difference than the one between New York City and Berlin.