First time in NYC (Commentary) - your experience (story)


Figured it could be a good thread to hear stories. I was curious; what your first time in NYC was like? I’d really like to hear the stories of some forum members. Like the whole experience? Was it overwhelming, confusing, scary, nirvana? What did you do your first time and so on? :question:

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My Experience:

Like for me, my first time was actually at the age of 13 believe it or not where I was conscious to know what I was doing. I know… and I’m in NJ too so you’d think I would of gone earlier. I was actually in Philly a lot when I was younger but never NYC (Philly didn’t prepare me for the concrete Jungle). Although my parents when I was a baby, like a couple of months, went to the WTC observation deck (which I don’t remember because I was like 6 months old, and it sucks because I actually never went to the original twins where I could remember and appreciate it).

Anyways, first place I ever went to was to Chinatown. You’d think the usual Times Square, but nope… good old Chinatown with the Nigerian Gucci sellers and small Asian women who take you to a basement and unveil a treasure cove of counterfeits).

Took the PATH with my father, and went to Chinatown to eat food, and buy a fake Rolex (before the crackdown, but they are still there). I remember so many people. It felt like a sea of people. The skyscrapers, the insane crowds… it felt strange and scary to me. Chinatown has a special place in my heart. I actually would not mind living there. Its kinda a shame that the grittyness has been reduced, but its still an excellent neighborhoods. One of my favorites.

But I remember the energy. The rush… like a good crack high (What I guess it must feel like). Its this kind of feeling where you actually become sad when you leave. I wanted more… I was addicted.

And to this day… I still am!

I think what I really like, and to this day holds true, is the street life. I love the fact that I can be walking down the street, and hear yelling, looking on the corner and seeing some guy talking to himself, the endless stream of traffic, the sirens, and it goes on. The street energy is what makes this place amazing. Not to mention time flies. Time constriction occurs. Even working, when I meet clients in the city, time flies. The energy of the city makes time feel so fast that days evaporate. The same with the Chinatown visit. I remember it was 4 hours, but felt like 30 minutes.

I’ve been to many Euro Capitals and other U.S. Cities, but nothing compares. You’d think the skyline and energy would get old, but it doesn’t, and this all started at the age of 13, in which, I became interested in cities, and thus, real estate and architecture became a passion.

All from one simple trip to Chinatown, on a chilly, brisk fall day.


  • Chris E.

My first time in NYC was this past December. I stayed a few days after Christmas until Dec 31.

My hotel was just across the street from Penn Station, which as I’m sure most of you know is right next to Manhattan West/Hudson Yards. I walked around the High Line around the yards for maybe an hour or two (of course taking a few breaks to go inside of 10HY because of how cold it was outside).

The atmosphere around HY was nothing like the rest of Midtown. The food, the people, the cars, everything is like nothing I’ve seen before. The energy is like no other city I’ve been to before.

Of course I went to where all the tourists seem to go (Rockerfeller Center, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, etc.), but Lower Manhattan felt different than Midtown. I’m not sure what it was, but it had a different feel.

Of course I spent a whole day at the WTC. The observatory was a lot better than I imagined and the memorial and museum was beautifully done. Should’ve known better than to expect to go into Eataly and not have to wait very long without reservations, the wait time was nearly 2 hours! I ended eating at a sandwich shop at the Fulton Center which was pretty good.

The only thing I didn’t get a chance to do was visit Central Park unfortunately. I was planning on going but it was too cold for me :joy:.

Planning another trip now for either this upcoming Spring or Summer as well!


I was 21 the first time I visited and didn’t realize how much bigger the city was compared to what I considered a big city growing up (Chicago). At first, when I saw the skyline from Brooklyn, I thought Central Park was located in between what I now know is Lower Manhattan and Midtown. When I found out CP was actually located beyond Midtown I was shocked because dramatic scale of NY quickly came into focus. The sheer scale of the city is what shocked me.


My first time I saw it I was 10, back in August 2011. I knew absolutely nothing except for the new World Trade Center, so my main focus was the two towers rising at the time. I faintly remember seeing One World Trade and 4 World Trade, but I remember my dad taking a photo of me with the Statue of Liberty.


The first time I set foot on the streets on NYC I had a panic attack. There were hundreds of people walking towards me! I had never experienced anything like it in my life! Now I am so in love with it! I hope to live there one day!


I grew up in the suburbs of NYC. When I started traveling to other US cities, I would always ask, “This is it?” Places like Atlanta, which the locals thought were enormous metropolises, I regarded as huge versions of White Plains or Stamford, Connecticut. That being said, I love other cities like DC, Boston, Philly, SF, LA, and Miami, but NY is one of a kind (at least in America).


this is basically my experience lol. The bar for an urban experience is set exceptionally high. You feel like you could explore NYC endlessly, but with other cities you could walk around for a day or two and feel like you’ve experienced everything - if walking is even an option, that is.


Its why I welcome competition among the cities. I wish there was a 2nd U.S. ny. I’d love to see some fierce competition.


I truly wish Chicago was more of a competitor. It was my first big urban experience. And now that I live in NYC it feels like a little town, and places like Chicago and LA feel like even smaller towns.

First time in NYC I got off the train in GCS and was caught up in a massive shuffle of people coming out of the bowels of the city. I thought it was spectular.


That’s the thing, at least in the U.S., is that NY is in a league of its own. Its just so radically different than any U.S. city. Everything else feels quite tame and laid back in terms of the energy. Even Chicago or LA. Just feels like NY on a Sunday night.

Globally, thats the real competition, where NY depending on which city one visits abroad, would feel quite tame, at least in terms of the energy and crowds.

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Im curious what you think are the global competitiors…
Id say London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo… I cant think of others.

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All of those actually. I think from a pure awe standpoint, either Tokyo or Shanghai. Although Hong Kong has colloquially be known as the “City of the East” or the NY of the East.


Hong Kong just has a sheer density and height that makes it crazy.


Hight and density , but zero character/soul.


New York has taller buildings than HK, and it has way more than Central too.


You must have missed FiDi (colonial era buildings next to Gilded Age towers and ultra modern skyscrapers), TriBeCA, SoHo, the Village, Union Sq., Madison Sq., the UWS, the UES, etc.


I think he’s referring to HK


Oh. Sorry, dude.

I love HK, though I prefer NY.

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Of course you do! that’s why we’re here!


Lol I love NY.

5th ave from the Flat Iron building to Washington Park… Best streetscape on the planet.

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