What an unbelievable city this has been!!! We’ve spent 6 days in the Big Apple and it has been the most incredible and exhilarating 6 days so far. I have no words to describe how I feel about this city but I’ll do my best to give you a glimpse of what it feels like to be in New York. And if you haven’t been there yet book your tickets right now!
The idea of New York
Visiting New York was always my dream. I was fed images and ideas of what this place is since my childhood. I’ve grown up watching numerous films and series that took place here. Starting from King Kong, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Ghostbusters, Fatal Attraction, The Devil’s Advocate, through Sleepless in Seattle, Hitch, The Devil Wears Prada and obviously… Friends, Mad Men and very close to my heart the Sex and the City. Ok, Gossip Girl too unfortunately. Let’s just say I had plenty of expectations about the City and I was in love with the idea of it for years. In my mind this was a magical place, tough but rewarding. You can always start over and re-create yourself here. It’s not an easy place to live in but if you make it here you can make it anywhere 😉
So how far were my expectations from reality?
It is overwhelming!
The first hours in the Big Apple meant seeing glimpse of familiar buildings, Freedom Tower, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre… seen for the first time with our own eyes. We are in New York! We can click ”check in” on Manhattan and we live in Queens. How amazing!
I am actually here, walking the streets, staring at the skyscrapers with my jaw dropped. I am not ashamed to say I have had tears in my eyes when we were driving into the city for the first time. It was my dream so why not?! It seems to me that these days we are so ashamed of actually feeling anything and showing it, we are so ashamed of being emotional… But it’s in these moments where we truly live and experience life.
So I am not ashamed to say that I was and still am totally overwhelmed by New York. It is so much different from any city that I’ve been to so far. It surprisingly reminds me more of Bangkok than any European city. It’s organised and structured but it’s sooo messy. It’s so oversized and so busy! It’s huge! Actually it’s gigantic! I mean seriously when European build stuff they go: ‘oh this is pretty big and beautiful it’s a good building’. When Americans build things they go: ‘oh this is big but it’s not the biggest in the city or in the country, we should make it bigger! And while we are on it we should also make it more majestic, it’s not good enough’. I mean holly molly! All these buildings in the Manhattan are just ridiculously tall!
When we were in Rome we went to see the Colosseum and Vittorio Emanuele Monument and when you see them they take your breath away for a moment. They are huge and fantastic… You feel small and stunned! But then again you come to New York and there are no small buildings here. There are only the massive, multi-story ones that make you feel tiny! Sooo tiny!!! It changes your perspective. We were walking around Manhattan and we were surrounded by brick and concrete walls, gigantic walls everywhere. It is as much stunning as it is overwhelming.
It is so busy!
It’s also so very busy! So many people rushing around. Everyone seems fairly stressed and tired, a little too busy to be friendly, they have so many things on their mind. Not like relaxed and friendly Bostonians. It’s only when we went to the West Village or Brooklyn that everyone seemed much more chilled. You can relax out there and rest before you go back to craziness of Manhattan.
At the first New York doesn’t seems to be very friendly but once you truly experience it, once you get to know the people a bit you start to see a very different face of the city. With time you start to feel like you belong here, like you are part of this big community. It’s a human made creature which even though everyday pretend not to care for anyone, deep inside is very emotional and united existence.
Would I want to live here at some point in my life? Possibly. Even though I somehow felt too old for this City. Like you have to be young and strong to live her. I would imagine it doesn’t matter how old you are, what’s important is how much appetite you have for life. If you are ambitious and driven this is definitely the city for you. However if you are looking for a good work/life balance… I’m not sure if New York would be the right place for that.
In the meantime you can read about the places we’ve managed to see in New York and decide what you can see in 6 days in the Big Apple, please read New York in 6 days by Wild Geckos.
Also one of the next posts New York vs London, a curious comparison I will be trying to compare some of the aspects of both cities and to figure out in which one we would prefer to live in. Stay tuned.