On Tuesday I got into New York City, it’s my first time here and my first thought is, “wow, it’s hot here, I should have packed my T-shirts.”

My next thought is, “wow, this place is amazing.” I can see why people love this place.

I hopped on a bus and rode out to Harlem. The neighborhood is full of color, from the personalities you run into, to the spray paint on the walls.

It reminds me a bit of Valencia Street in San Fransisco, well minus the bikes and dogs… hmm… actually it’s not like Valencia at all then.

I’m not sure how the locals feel about the graffiti, but I was digging it. First, it’s real New York graffiti, the place were it all began. Second, despite what others say, I think it’s a work of art when you can spend ten minutes admiring the line and layering of a tag on 125th street, just as you could examine the light and brushwork on a Rembrandt.

I ended up walking up and down Harlem for a bit, saw the famous Apollo Theater, kept hopping to hear jazz music, but of course it was too early in the day for that.

After Harlem I decided to hop on the next bus that came by and see where it took me, ended up on Broadway near Columbia University.

There are a ton of restaurants here and it seems like a cool place, but it just didn’t have the same character as Harlem.

As I walked around people watching and taking in the sites I found that people in New York were a lot nicer than they get credit for. From the way Lonely Planet made it sound, New Yorkers were angry, dishonest thieves, but it wasn’t true.

On the subway, a woman I had asked for directions actually came looking for me two stops down the line to tell me I should move to an express train across the platform. I couldn’t believe it, Lonely Planet had mislead me (unless the real surprise is still coming… *gulp).

I was on the One train headed downtown and that was a story in itself. First, if you haven’t been to NYC, the subway is the cheapest treat you’ll find. You can spend hours riding up and down just taking in the sights and colors as other trains come and go past a window, lights flicker in tunnels and people from all walks of life come and go.

On the 42nd and Broadway stop, “here come the business men (and woman)/like a heard of cattle rushing in” all dressed up and suddenly making everyone else on the train look like they’ve just shown up unprepared for an interview. It’s interesting to see this dichotomy so isolated to certain stops on the line.

It’s the best $2.00 you’ll ever spend, and for me it got the creative juices flowing.

Plus on the train I also got a girl’s phone number, almost without even trying.

I think I’m going to like New York City.

I’m not sure where today is going to take me.

I was formulating a list of places to go, but somehow running from the MET to Dodger Stadium to Conny Island for a Nathan’s just doesn’t seem like a relaxing day, and my finger is itching to press down on a shutter.