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Thursday, February 26, 2009

London vs. New York, Round 1

Having spent a bunch of time in both cities, I'm ready to tell you what you should think of them. First item: underground transportation.

OK, New Yorkers, the tube is:
* cleaner
* faster
* quieter
* with more frequent trains
* and nice signs that tell you when the next train is coming, so you don't wait on the platform for 40 minutes only to find out the line is closed.

Finally, when there is a delay, the posh lady who does the London Underground announcements says, "We apologize for any inconvenience."

But today, on the subway, the announcer said, "We're delayed waiting for the tracks to clear. Please be patient."

So, instead of apologizing for the delay, the guy gave me an order as to how to regard it!

And what if I began to fidget? Would I be thrown off?

Round One: London 1 New York 0

13 comments:

  1. Reluctant Muscovite8:15 AM

    I have never been to New York, but I have been to Moscow and to London, as well as Berlin: of these, the Moscow Metro is by far the better. Overcrowded, yes. On time - absolutely. Simple to use: you bet.

    Considering it was ordered by Soviet Commissars, designed by engineers working under the gun, and constructed by the equivalent of slave labor - not bad at all.

    Oh, and the stations are gorgeous.

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  2. Sidney10:01 AM

    Sorry for the interruption on the discussion of underground transportation.

    I just want to advise Gene that I have booked my flight and will be attending the March colloquium in New York City, for when he delivers his paper.

    Mr. Callahan do you have any recommendations for hotels near the event, or would it be possible to stay with you and your family?

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  3. Sure, London beats out NY transportation-wise, but you can't find a decent pastrami sandwich in London!

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  4. You're joking, right, Sidney?

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  5. Nor a good bagel, Wally!

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  6. Sidney8:02 PM

    No, I'm not kidding. I wouldn't miss your presentation for all the gold backing up your U.S. dollar.

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  8. James Rothfeld9:06 AM

    you need spam protection.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12:45 AM

    Wow! Gold!

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  10. The subways and trains in Tokyo (both public and private lines) are far better than London or New York - on all of the counts that you mention, Gene. You should take a trip out here sometime.

    Going from Tokyo to London, I'm a fraid I miss the relative comparison between New York and London; to me, the London tube seems full of trash, and the trains are cramped (both head and aisle space) and nowhere near on time. But they did seem quieter than what I remember of Manhattan.

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  11. Another vote for Moscow.

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  12. Anonymous11:13 AM

    You fail to mention one crucial point: the price. A short ride in London will cost you upwards of 4 pounds ($6+), whereas it's a third the price on the NY subway. You also fail to mention that there are NO tubes between midnight and 6am, necessitating hideous rides on nightbuses or gargantuan taxi fares. And you also fail to mention that NY subway carriages are far wider than London's tubes, meaning the tube gets more crowded with fewer people. I have had to let SIX tubes pass through on the Central Line before being able to squeeze on one.

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  13. Well, yes, anonymous, I didn't mention every feature of each system. I still prefer London.

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