3 July 2013

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...

I've only been once, in 2008, but this city is now firmly entrenched in my heart and is up there with the places I will go back to one day. New York is most definitely my city of dreams.
I can not write this blog post without a nod to our very favourite Americans, Sean and Allison Adrian. Without their incredible hospitality and amazing planning our NYC experience would have been a tenth of what it actually was. So, thank you Adrians. One day we will repay the favour with a British extravaganza in your honour...although now there will be smaller people in tow so there may be less Guinness and cocktails drunk, less sailor and fireman hats stolen, and worn (proudly!) and more Zoos visited.
Allison and me out and about
Nick and Sean on the night of the British invasion!

We packed a lot into our short break and there's still a million things we didn't do. We saw the bulk of the main sites from the obligatory open top city tour bus. We climbed the Empire State Building. We visited Ground Zero. Not much to see back then but being in the district, on the street where the World Trade Centre once stood was a somber, unreal experience. No one can believe that what happened actually happened that day in 2001. We took a boat out to the Statue of Liberty. We had dinner in Tao, a fabulous restaurant between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue. We watched Van Halen at Madison Square Gardens. We saw the NY Yankees play baseball at the old Yankee Stadium. We took a horse and cart round Central Park. We drunk cocktails at the Museum of Modern Art and we ate burgers at The Corner Bistro in West Greenwich Village. We shopped in Macy's, we walked down Wall Street and we wandered round Times Square, by day and by night. 

Times Square is at the end of the road we stayed on and became the crossroads of our trip. More famously known as "the crossroads of the world"  this junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue is instantly recognisable with its brightly illuminated signs showing world financial market information, new M&M flavours, what's on Broadway and many a Coca Cola advert. The famous intersection is so iconic that I felt totally at home, like I'd been there before. 

Of course, this feeling of déjà vu is everywhere in New York and is partly attributable to the wealth of films that have been set there. From West Side Story to Breakfast at Tiffany's to Ghostbusters to You've Got Mail to Big. Round nearly every corner is a familiar scene from a film you've once seen.

Although my existence there was transient, whilst I was there my New York was friendly, bohemian, cosmopolitan, eccentric, colourful, rebellious, and inviting. I like the anonymity of cities. I like the culture, stories, lives and people that inhabit their insides and make up their souls. For as long as I can remember, travel has brought about a childlike feeling inside of me. A feeling of "wow, my feet are actually standing here." This feeling was there in bucket loads in New York. I still can't believe I was there. People say it's noisy but it was noise I wanted to hear. Each to their own but there was nothing in this city that I didn't want more of.

"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years"

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