By Jade-Marie Gilbert
I’ve never been punched in the stomach by a scary big grandmother trying to get on a boat on the river Ouse in York, but now I have on the Staten Island Ferry. That’s not the only difference between the two cities, although it will stick in my mind for a while!
Both New York and London have a subway—I’m from near London so I ride it all the time and can quite easily point out the differences.
Here the subway stations are dark and dirty; I saw my first rat! You also have steps, numerous steps. We are much lazier in London. Overall, the subway here was not exactly a cup of tea (cue English expression).
However, on the train I was so excited! People did dance-offs, played infectious Mexican music and the crazy people were interesting too! It was like being in a movie and I loved it.
In London, the tube (our name for subway) is clean and bright, because people actually polish it. There is always someone busking, and they are always good. We take it so seriously that you have to audition to the local government for a permit to busk in London.
Sometimes I feel like breaking into a dance from Mary Poppins, and feel I could actually start a chorus line.
Obviously, I am a little biased: as a history major I love the history that is just seeping from the walls of the tube. Everywhere you go in London and York, plaques are found stating who, when and what happened on that spot in history.
The tube isn’t all good though. Since the terrorist attack on the tube on June 7, 2005, people are really on edge about anyone wearing a backpack big enough to have a bomb in it, and if someone came on the tube asking for change like they do in New York, we would all mess our pants.
If I have to compare the two, I would say that London and York are beautiful, but New York is handsome; both are brilliant in their own right. Please come visit us in Old York!