No doubt, to speak of the 'real' anything is not only totally subjective but also reliant on what exactly you term as 'real'. I put my hands up and say that 6 days was not nearly enough to garner my own impression of what it means to live in New York, but this was not through lack of trying. Yes, I visited the projects, drove past Brooklyn, cycled through Central Park. Then there was the Sunday walk through Harlem fantasising over the soul food; grits, hush puppies and peach cobbler, all the more delicious against the soulful backdrop of church gospel.
China town was also fun. Not the syrupy-touristy type of ethnic enclave as in London, but somehow more authentic and frank.