The city has been beckoning me to visit since a very long time. The few times I have been in the United States, it’s only ever been to the west coast. After a close friend who moved to this city has generously agreed to host me, I had no choice but to visit. Cheap tickets and spring weather made it easier. A 14-hour flight later I was there.
A first timer’s trip to NYC is incomplete without a visit to Rockefeller for the views of Empire State. The price I paid to go up top and the additional sunset view surcharge only to notice the lack of any sun or sky, made me chuckle.
As the light faded, the city started to light up, from hundreds of thousands of homes sprawling across Manhattan, making me wonder if this city had just started to wake up.
On other days, I mostly experienced similar perspectives repeatedly from the streets down below. After living in the Netherlands for a few years, a country with mostly flat land and small buildings, the sight of real tall buildings crowding the streets was novel and a strangely belittling experience.
The visit coinciding with the September 11th anniversary ensued Americana on display everywhere.
I couldn’t stop admiring the iconic Yellow cabs all around, contrasting against the rustic colours of the buildings.
Residential areas wore relatively more vibrant shades. Perhaps “vibrant” is a strong word considering there was nothing particularly dynamic about the colours. Rustic pastels seem to suit the feel.
The sprawling subway system was surreal. It seemed a different world existed underground, defying the borders encased by the rivers, the coast, as well as the tall buildings and their foundations.
Of course, what is New York without fashion
or the perpetual seepage of steam from the underworld onto the streets.
Five days and 100 kilometres of walking later, half of it constant rain, it just seemed that there was no end to the fantastic sights that NYC had to offer. Every one of them seemed un-missable, especially Times Square,
The Statue of Liberty
the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, plus a view of the bridge from the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. This particular view managed to trigger the strange feeling of “jamais vu” despite it being the first time I was seeing it in person.