They may not have much to do, but America and New York are very closely related. Even if their histories have always been independent from one another, New York has informed America as much as America has informed New York.
When you prepare to travel to New York, you should also take into consideration that you are also travelling to America. New York you have seen in movies. America you may have not.
Empires, or main world powers as current times have us define them, are not forged out of ideology or out of a sort of global, wordwide organization. History has taught us that world supmremacy is something earned by a state's capacity and power to protect and defend itself.
Following that logic, the sentence that founded the U.S. as a main cultural and economic power in the world is not president Monroe's famous "America for the Americans". It is another, much more obscure, from president Theodore Roosevelet.
Teddy Roosevelt had showed his dexterity for war when he was fought with the Rough Riders on the Cuban War of 1898. He would prove it again in 1904, when he was already in the White House. He faced a delicate situation: an American citizen called Ion Perdicaris had been kidnapped by a Moroccan bandit called Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli. The ransom was sent directly to the U.S. embassy.
When news reached Roosevelt, he sent half a dozen of warships to the coasts of Tangier with a very clear message: "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.". The threat sufficed. Perdicaris was freed immediately.
From that point on, which was a long time before the European suicide of 1914, Americans knew the world was theirs.
If one country could be compared to another, America would still have no paragon. This fascinating puzzle of a nation has countless nation-wide idiosyncracies layered over bunches of local idiosyncracies. Younger than most first world nations, bigger than any other land and more diverse than some continents, the U.S. is a complex alloy of cultures, ideologies and nationalities. It is one of the very few countries where, say, a citizen in a deep, rural area might find more things in common with a man from Grozny than a fellow citizen from New York.
While we attempt to cover as many New York quirks as possible in this travel guide, there are a few America customs you should be aware of before setting off to the New World.
Do you plan on taking any electronic equipment? You would be wise to check out what types of outlets are common in America, as the ones in your home country may not be compatible with them.
Do you know the dates of your stay in New York? Well, there are about ten national holidays that practically shut down the whole country for the day. It will doubtlessly give you new insight on American culture and how it celebrates its traditional holidays but you may also feel more excluded than a tourist should feel if don't have the right crowd to spend them with.
And lastly -- are you aware of the importance of tipping to the overall American economy? You may not be breaking the law if you forget to tip, or don't tip the right amount. But you will also be ruining a posibbly hard-working waiter's day.
These tips will put you on your way to be as American as apple pie and Uncle Sam. Until your flight back at least .