Thursday, 27 September 2012

My New York State of Mind

When I was fifteen I created a (sort of) Bucket List of countries and cities I wanted to visit before I died. It wasn't a grand list, because even at that young age, I wasn't interested in hot places, but it was a list nonetheless. And in some small way, that list that I made when I was fifteen contributed to the path I took in life.

My first great journey happened a couple years after making the list when I moved to Finland for a year. While I was there I was fortunate enough to see parts of Sweden and Russia, knocking three countries off my list.

Almost twenty years later I had seen every country/place on my list except for two. Until a couple of weeks ago.

Even at a young age New York seemed like a magical place to me. It seemed BIG and bright and creative and inspiring. As a want-to-be writer, it also seemed like the place I needed to be to make it. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, right? And besides, all the big publishing houses and literary agents were (and mostly still are) in New York. So when my girlfriend Jane suggested we save up and take a trip to New York in September, I knew I couldn't say no. I had been letting my problems and concerns (my everyday life) get in the way of this trip for way too long.

During our week in New York, we stayed in an apartment in Greenwich Village. Every time we walked out onto Bedford Street and into the Village, I felt like I was walking onto a movie set of every New York-centric movie I had ever seen (at least, the less grittier ones). I felt safe and alive. So many restaurants. So many bakeries and bars. So many people... So much history.

New York was everything I hoped it would be and more. I only spent a week there, but I knew coming home that I'd be back again. I crammed as much as I possibly could into the week, but I never got out of Manhattan (except for a jaunt over the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn for about thirty minutes). And even then, the time I spent at the museums/parks/bookstores/libraries I went to, wasn't near enough time to adequately take them all in.

So how can I not go back?

I HEART New York!

View from ferry to Liberty Island

New World Trade Center Building

Part of the 9/11 Memorial

Pianist in Washington Square Park

Brooklyn Bridge

Beautiful architecture seen from Brooklyn Bridge

Beautiful and grand buildings everywhere

Reflection off the MoMA

Seen from the High Line

Seen from the High Line

Beautiful architecture seen in the financial district

Jane and I in Central Park