The Big Apple
I’m estimating that New York City is about 85% of what I’ve historically experienced. The revitalized Penn Station is fabulous and Amtrack is back to a full, convenient schedule. Some plays (The Music Man with Hugh Jackman, which was great) sell out entirely, other old war horses are closing (Les Mis, which was also great when I first saw it). The better restaurants appear to be about 75% filled during the week. Lower-end restaurants are packed. There are far fewer cabs, but Uber is everywhere and highly reliable. Times Square is a mass of humanity at night, unfortunately including bizarre “characters” who charge for photos with them, a few largely naked (and repugnant). Traffic is as horrible as ever.
Except for the very top hotels, service has declined, not just due to staffing, but also due to indifferent training and rather apathetic hires. My experience in the historically reliable W Times Square was such that I won’t be going back.
This might not matter to many of you, but I continue to believe New York is the greatest city in the world for business, art, culture, sports, and entertainment. I respect your right to disagree. But I do think it’s the bellwether of our progress.