"When we were in the plane and just before we were landing, you could see a lot of things clearly. I saw the Meadowlands and I saw where the Nets play.
"This is my first time here. I've been to the airports, so technically I've been to New York. It's everything you've seen on the TV and in the movies. There's just tall buildings, skyscrapers and all that. It's amazing. I've just been in awe since I've been here.
"You always see on TV that there's no fresh air and it doesn't smell clean and they're right, because it stinks up here. And traffic, it's messing up global warming. It stinks here, man. I miss going outside on the porch and just feeling the fresh air. … But it's nice.
"Being in traffic, just bumper-to-bumper, I thought that was an interesting experience. I felt like it took forever to get to from the airport to the hotel. It was Sunday and the traffic was still awful.
"We went together as a team and we ate a very nice (Brazilian steak) restaurant (Churrascaria Plataforma) where they brought the meat to you. Then after that, we just kind of walked around and saw Times Square. Some guy was trying to sell me his CD and he followed us around for about 15 minutes rapping and singing and trying to sell his CD and trying to promote himself.
"The ESPN Zone was a very interesting place. I was expecting to see quarters and dollars (for the game machines), but it was like $10.
"The hotel (Marriot Marquis in Times Square) isn't bad at all. It's top of the line. The one we go to in Atlanta is a pretty nice one, too. But it can't top this one.
"Believe it or not, I look forward to seeing just taxis. That's one thing that you always see on TV, just a line of taxis. I want to take a ride in one, but I guess I've got to find somewhere to go. But I have plans to take a ride.
"One thing I can say, this city never sleeps. There's always something going. You wake up in the morning and it's just like it's 12 o'clock, they're already up and going.
"We had practice very early (Monday) morning, but it was good. We didn't stay long, but it was hard and sharp. We're just setting the tone for (Tuesday). We've been doing this for a long time, so it's nothing new. We just did our regular thing and went over scouting.
"Once again, it took a long time to get (to practice). We stopped every minute.
"One thing I can say, if you walk across the street, you need to watch where you're going, because these cars will hit you, man. I almost got hit. I wasn't paying attention.
"So far, I guess I'd rank it a 10. This is mind-blowing. This is something you don't see every day coming from the South. I could (live here). I guess I wouldn't want to stay for ever, but I could do it a couple of years.
Sam Perry's NIT Diary
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