I am sitting here in an apartment in the Tribeca area of the Big Apple & listening to the hustle and bustle of the city just outside the window. This really is a city that doesn't sleep (OK, maybe it just doses off in the wee hours of the morning). The background noise of traffic, and occasionally the muffled rumble of the subway can be heard most hours of the day (& night).
The smell of the city is also unmistakable - a mixture of exhaust fumes, a touch of sewage, & in the Chinatown area, the raw smell of fresh meat & seafood.
I have sticker shock and am appalled at the escalated cost of everyday essentials compared to a year ago. Maybe I've been in China too long. Food prices especially are exorbitant. A typical meal for our family of four costs twice or even three times more than what it would have in China.
I am looking forward to our road trip up to Rhode Island & Massachusetts, especially Cape Cod. I miss the beach & the ocean, living in land-locked Beijing. Will try to post pictures as we go along...