I wrote this in the 1980s. I know the city has improved since then. I hope you find my observations amusing, or maybe you were there then and agree with them.
IMPRESSIONS OF NEW YORK
‘New York, New York, it’s a cow of a town.’
That’s not how the song goes, but it’s how I hear it. Some call it the ‘Big Apple’ but I find it more like a smelly cabbage—those fumes seeping up from the underground railway system, like an evil mist rising from Hades. Three or four times I’ve flown to the city. With each touch-down I hope that this time I’ll experience the excitement—the magic—that others rave about.
My impressions of New York are dominated by yellow taxis – dirty, rusty, yellow cabs with horns blaring non-stop, day and night—and their angry drivers, who look and sound as though they’ve just arrived from Ethiopia, or somewhere equally unlikely to have provided any training for this occupation. At every traffic light they scream to a halt, then roar away on burning rubber as if their tails are on fire, to stop again at the next red-lit corner, fifty yards away.