Where Everything is Possible - New York, NY
New York Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
8:30 pm local time, the captain turns on the seatbelt sign as we are about to land at JFK. I finally wanted to find out whether it’s true what they say about New York. I especially remembered one quote from a movie, most likely Woody Allen saying: “The true New Yorkers understand that people living anywhere else must be, in some sense, kidding”. Now I can honestly say, I totally agree. Landing in New York City cannot compare to anything else, especially to landing in European cities where all you can see is fields, forests and country houses. Even from the plane, the view is simply overwhelming. Dozens of lights, sparkling skyscrapers and suspension bridges that create the Big Apple bring excitement and curiosity.
During my first moments in NY I could only be compared to a child in a huge candy store on Christmas. With my eyes wide opened and my head facing up I walked the streets of Manhattan absorbing everything I saw. After a few days of this huge cultural shock, when I was finally able to think straight, I started exploring this amazing city.
One of the things that fascinated me about NY is its amazing
diversity and the fact it can generate all kinds of emotions in a
single day. Starting at the busy financial district with its famous
Wall Street, going through the enchanting Little Italy and trendy
Greenwich Village, passing through the hectic and always crowded and
bright Times Square and finishing at the relaxing Central Park, NY just
overwhelms with its variety of ambiances.
What’s also incredible is that every newcomer like myself fits in. Nobody cares that you’re different, that you speak another language.
In one of my favorite books about New York, the author said that there are probably thousands of people who come to NY to start a new life. They want to forget their past, their social status and discover this other part of personality that was hidden deep inside of them to become somebody completely different. It’s something about the NY freedom that is so unique. Everybody can dress however they want, live their own lives and be lost in the colorful crowd. Everything is allowed and everything is possible, especially when you are an exotic foreigner who came from another part of the world.
During my one-month stay in New York, all I can say is that thirty days are not enough to discover what this metropolis has to offer. I stayed in a tiny flat in Brooklyn where the rent was three times more than my rent in Europe, but all I cared about was that right outside my door there was a metro station that took me straight to my Manhattan’s favorite places. Many asked me how I managed to find an apartment there from one day to another. To be honest I was really lucky. I spent my first night at a friend's apartment and just as I was struggling with my huge suitcase in a subway, one extremely nice local guy helped me and referred me to craigslist and some other vacation rental sites I could look at to find an apartment. And I did the next day!
I went to all the standard touristy NY spots such as Ellis Island, the NY Stock Exchange, “the Met” or the Empire State Building, but what I loved the most was just walking the streets without any plan and just taking in all New York has to offer.
Here are some of my favorite NY pastimes:
- Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoying the NY City Skyline at sunset.
- Having dinner on the roof of “the Met” (the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
- Visiting The Frick Collection, one of the most amazing private collections of art I’ve seen
- Stargazing in the Battery Park with the view on New Jersey
I could go on and on but I might leave something for next chapters .
Somehow whenever I hear this song, there is a big smile on my face:
"Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or Hollywood.
I'm taking a Greyhound on the Hudson River line-
I'm in a New York state of mind."