Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New York jobs

I recently went to New York for the first time and I was really struck by the variety of jobs there are in New York compared to other cities.

For one thing, each apartment building has a doorman 24 hrs a day who knows every inhabitant and watches over them like your mother. So thats 3 door men per apartment building times 100s of apartment buildings in New York. There are also people selling things on every corner. People passing out fliers, actually selling newspapers in piles on the sidewalk corner like you see in movies, selling flowers, tourist items, or even old used books.

Then there are transportation workers. Each street is completely full of taxis and limos in Manhattan- almost no privately driven cars. There are also a lot of buses and a huge number of subway stations, lines and cars.
Here's a picture of Grand Central Station, which is just one of the subway stations (although it is the biggest)

Speaking of touristy things, there are a huge number of jobs relating to tourists. People selling tickets to go on the Empire State Building, the top of Rockefeller Center, or ride the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and to go to the top of the statue of Liberty (see picture).

And here is a photo of Kyra in Battery Park, where there are people making their living from tourists, including selling food and drinks, painting portraits, playing the saxaphone, driving ferries, making un-sympathetic announcements about how everything is sold out and don't even try to get on the ferry, and maintaining the bathroom facilities. But this photo shows the big NO sign: NO skateboarding, rollerskates or anything else. Although there is a lot to do in New York, it generally is a place of no sympathy.

There is a HUGE retail business in New York, such that every other store I've been to pales in comparison. And in every store there are a zillion different jobs, including running the Ferris Wheel in the Toys R Us in Times Square. This is a picture of Ellen riding on it.

Then it seemed to me that any musician who is any good has a job waiting for him in New York, or can create one. Everywhere I went had live music- every street corner and in the many many theatres. Here is a picture of a concert in the park at Lincoln Center.

One job in New York City, that you can't find too much in other cities, is working in a museum. They have a whole street lined with museums, and each museum has 100s of rooms, and each room has a person standing in it to answer questions, give directions, and tell you to keep your hands off the objects.

And of course we can't forget the job of buggy driver- there are probably at least a hundred of these. Most of the guys I overheard who were lined up ready to take people on a drive seemed to be Irish. Don't know why that would be, but I guess Irish buggy drivers can find a position in New York.

Another job you can't really get anywhere else is working for the UN. There also seems to be an embassy for a different country on each block.

There are a lot of others, including the Stock Market, and every type of support job for the stock market and banking and investment. I could almost feel the current of the world's money flowing through the veins of the city. And there are public safety and support, firemen and policemen who actually stand around looking helpful and will give directions and be friendly. As well as the antithesis of every type of illegal activity you can want, including shifty salesmen on the sidewalks selling shady shades out of briefcases.

Of course, there are religious workers from every religion there is, including priests working at some of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world.

So overall, I was favorably impressed with the city, and glad to have met and seen at work the people who make it their home.