This picture perfectly portrays New York to me: a combination of art, history, culture, pride, and ambition.
Key words for New York are BIG, LOUD and UNAPOLOGETIC. It's the most liberating feeling, not caring what anyone else thinks! Especially as I'm used to the West Coast, polite, in-the-box mentality. For example, on a night out I wore tights with rips instead of solid ones. That's a big deal for me, a generally conservative dresser. And I don't think anyone even gave me a second glance (ripped tights are probably conservative for New York). Also, no one really cares what anyone else is doing. I didn't feel judged the way I definitely would have on the West Coast.
While we're looking at a subway picture, while I was there I heard a guy belt out 'His Eye is on the Sparrow' beautifully on the subway for change. If he can do that for a crowd who never even asked him to be there and for the few dollars that he received, I feel foolish for ever allowing inhibitions to hinder me in an audition.
The Apollo Theatre in Harlem. If you stink, scratch that, if you're not great you'll be booed off. No politeness here.
Talking of performances, I saw "Mary Stuart" performed on Broadway. I was awed by the amazingly truthful performances by the leads...even more so when I remembered they did maybe 12 performances a week, for who knows how many months.
There are fantastic musicians doing their thing everywhere.
Beautiful green spaces all over the city. Central Park balances out the hustle.