Every time I come to New York, I’m still amazed by Central Park. It’s not just a great public space but also an example of civilized urban living. Over the years, the city was smart enough to not only keep such magnificent resource but also to maintain, improve and defend it. Contrast that with the great open space in DC called the Mall which has been trashed and misused, especially over the past twenty years.

It was hot in the city today and in our wanderings this afternoon we stopped into a Ben and Jerry’s for a snack. While we were sitting and eating our ice cream, the health department dropped in and closed the place. According to the sign they slapped in the window, the violation was for operating without a license but it still made me think "only in New York". I did finish my cup of mint chocolate chunk, however.

You can easily tell the people who live and work here from the tourists. The natives instinctively know when to cross the street regardless what the lights say. The tourists follow their lead a few seconds behind and almost get themselves run over.

The hotel room we’re staying in is so small I half expect to wake up and find us docked in another port. It’s not so much a hotel room but the lowest-priced inside stateroom on a third-rate cruise.