Really now, gurls — as a tourist you don’t visit NYC to marvel at its “street hygiene”, do you now?
You take in the sights, visit iconic places featured in films, series, and on album covers. You enjoy the plethora of excellent restaurants with cuisines from all over the world. You play chess in one of the parks, take the ferries, visit the ghetto amusement park (Coney Island), and so on.
The museums are excellent, especially the nature history museum at Central Park, the Guggenheim.. The people are in-your-face, but they quickly meet their equal in a Dutchman…
It’s fun going on a date with an American, noticing the cultural resemblances but also the vast differences. Wearing “European-length” shorts will immediately mark you, but that can have its upsides, too.
The Central Park, the Cloisters, and the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn are wonderful oases in a bustling city.
I had a blast and didn’t mind the dirt and graffiti, you’re not visiting an open air museum. Make sure you don’t spend every day in Manhattan, because that place really wears you down.
Mind you, I was fortunate enough to stay at a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn (Cobble Hill, for those in the know) which was blissfully quiet and it saved me hundreds of euros.
My only point of critique would be the third-world metro system. Those perilous narrow platforms tilted towards the tracks are something else, and I didn’t much like the people on the subway.