Credit of featured image: Free-Photos/ 9086, pixabay.
Nearly one year in lockdown has recently had me thinking. With our ability to travel restricted, I’ve been reflecting on all the places I’ve been lucky enough to be able to see and all the places I’d hope to see someday soon.
I think when it all comes down to it, New York City is my favourite place I’ve ever been. I didn’t think I’d ever feel this way about a city that I only visited for four days. Even the legacy of “the city where anything is possible” and all the other phrases that get tossed around about it never really did much to pull me in. My travel fantasies always leaned more towards places like Australia and New Zealand, places where you knew you can get an adrenaline rush one day and chill out on the beach or in the mountains the next. It seems strange then that the place I fell the hardest for is the city that never sleeps. For me it’s not even got anything to do with the skyscrapers, penthouses, fancy hotels or the statue of liberty. It’s something else, something which I didn’t see coming at all.
I couldn’t put my finger on it while I was there and I’ve come to realise that’s because it’s not any one thing, it’s everything. The sounds, the colours, the activity and the pace, the mix of cultures, the unpredictability. The city is alive and I couldn’t get enough of it .Manhattan is a different creature all on its own. Chinatown, little-Italy, the Upper East Side, Harlem, Wall Street. Where else in the world can you find areas that are astronomically different from each other in such close proximity? Make no mistake about it, it’s a tough place to live. Any New Yorker will tell you that surviving in the city comes with a lot of graft and a lot of struggle. What’s unique about New Yorkers though, is that they seem to thrive on this. They live for the downs just as much as the ups and the struggles just as much as the success. It’s what makes New York so special. You’ll walk out on to the street and you’ll see as many people as you can count yet you won’t know a single one and they won’t know you but there’s a mutual understanding that you’re in this together.
Throw in the lure of Frank Sinatra, Central Park, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Broadway, and I’m sold. The only bit of New York I have in my life these days is when I’m watching my favourite basketball team, the New York Knicks. Hopefully in a post-pandemic future, I’ll get back there again soon.