“Whoever is born in New York is ill-equipped to deal with any other city: all other cities seem, at best, a mistake, and, at worst, a fraud. No other city is so spitefully incoherent”. – James Baldwin.
I find this quote so painfully accurate as I am jealous not only of New Yorkers, but Americans in general as they claim ownership of one of the greatest cities in the world. The beauty of New York is that it offers something for everyone. One can feel at home in New York no matter your background, it is the most accepting city and that being said has the ability to chew you up and spit you out. Visiting New York was a dream I had since a very young age; I would study the map and geography of the city in my spare time, so much so I felt I really knew it without actually visiting it. When I finally got there in 2012 I was the happiest I have ever been, it still feels like yesterday and I think about that trip almost everyday. Because I had studied the map of New York so intensely I, for the better half of the trip, knew where I was going and how to get there. I was often stopped in the street and asked for directions and pointed out major landmarks and Bridges atop the Empire State Building. New York has the ability to completely engulf you, it is a drug and one visit is simply not enough.
There have been countless references made about the magic of Manhattan and each one is apt, the city, in most places, does not sleep. Times Square is open 24/7 for tourists but you will struggle to find a local there. If you rise early enough you can have the luxury of walking along the river or across the Brooklyn Bridge virtually alone (well alone as you can get in New York City). When visiting New York be prepared to either eat an early or late dinner as the decent restaurants are booked well in advance and some places you cannot get a table until 11pm, but the wait is always worth it. Sometimes the assumptions are not always true, I found New Yorkers for the better part friendly and helpful, albeit, busy which is often misinterpreted as rude. Americans in general were welcoming of me as a tourist and often thanked me for visiting their country. New York is the city of dreams and they can either be made or broken with no hard feelings. The city makes it hard for you to dislike it spite the difficulties to succeed there, a world where anything and everything is possible.
There is an endless amount of attractions in New York so this post is dedicated to the pure magic of the city and I will follow up with a few insider secrets next time.
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless”. – Simone Beauvoir