If you live in New York, everything else is Podunk, and they’ll happily tell you so:
“oh, Dallas what do they have there cows?” “oh, Miami? seedy nightclub joints, bland condo towers and garish boardwalk crowd” “oh, Chicago? its best days are over, and besides it’s terribly chilly” So in a sense, it did me good the reality exceeded my lowered expectations threefold. Same happened this time. Just yesterday somebody told me “oh, St. Louis? Spread out Big Nothing. Nothing to see after you climbed that Arch”.
“Spread out” is a common term of opprobrium among those who would prefer that everyone be stacked vertically, for whatever reasons.
But you can immediately sense this city is very different from NY. Reminds me of Dallas’ center, actually: same vast space, pristine streets (wide!) paved sidewalks (king-size!) benches everywhere (big!), dirt-cheap parking ($60 a MONTH!), amazing courthouses and municipal buildings (my favorite: Deco monumentality and 1920’s classicism), plenty of space between those skyscrapers to see each and every one, alley (like in Chicago!) gorgeous City Center Sculpture Park (that’s the one I read about in Metropolis; I’ll talk about it later); and amazingly no people!
Not to put the knock on New York, generally, but the Apple is pretty much sui generis: other cities do not look much like New York, nor can they be expected to. If St. Louis had the density of Manhattan, you’d have seven million people in its 60 square miles. And you wouldn’t have “dirt-cheap parking,” either.