If you’re at all like me, roughly 98% of all conversations you’ve engaged in over the last week have inevitably led to GTA IV. It’s not something that’s intentional, it just pops up… whether to bother a friend who still doesn’t have it, talk about a mission with someone who does… or when you’re at a bar talking about it and someone else comes running over saying “Are you guys talking about Grand Theft Auto?!?”

It’s happened more than once.

One thing I barely see people talking about online is how well done the city is… mostly because people who have never been to NYC don’t know what the rest of the place looks like, besides the big tourist traps, like Times Square and such.
But, case in point, the “Steinway Beer Garden”. Check out this pic I just took-

Familiar, no? They really did a fantastic job of recreating tons of areas from the city. The outside garden area is much different but the actual bar area looks the same. And look, there was even a Faggio parked outside!

Driving back home to Queens (Dukes) from the Bronx (Bohan) over the Triborough Bridge (East Borough Bridge) and past nearby Astoria Park (Steinway Park) the other day made me appreciate it even more. They took so much care in making this world, and even though it’s a hugely condensed version of the city (can you imagine when the technology gets great enough to make realistic cities street by street?) you can immediately tell what borough you’re in.

Just makes me appreciate it that much more. The game really is something special.