So, I’m back from New York. I didn’t post right away, because I needed a few days to let it all sink in first. Well, I also went camping promptly upon my return!
In any case, I’ve now formulated a few thoughts about the whole experience of that city, brief though it was.
New York City is huge. It’s heavy – massive – the skyline bears down on you as you move about the crowded streets. I could not believe the sheer amounts of people constantly moving throughout Times Square (although other areas of the city were much less crowded). Up on the 14th floor of the Random House building (I was there for a work meeting), I could look out across some of the city – what wasn’t blocked by even taller buildings surrounding the one I was in – and see miles and miles of high rises, many built with the same dark, stained stones/bricks.
I can’t quite describe how it all felt, seeing so many similar buildings. In Toronto, I suppose there is quite the variety of architectural stylings, but then I also suppose it didn’t build up as quickly as New York must have done, all in one go like that. It makes sense that there would be so much repetition, viewed in that light.
Ah, I think it comes out best like this: looking outward from wherever you stand in New York City, it feels like you are looking into mirrors reflecting mirrors. It’s that endless, that repetitive, and you feel that disoriented.
After a while looking up – trying to see a stretch of sky that could actually reveal a full cloud – became tiring, and I gave up attempting to assimilate the immensity of the place. Instead, I focused on the storefronts and the people – whatever was around me.
This was far more engaging and brought me more fully into the presence of the city and the people within. Although I found the people to very removed, probably overloaded with stimulus (the tourists like myself) or exhausted with the life there (the residents). Barely anyone made eye contact as they bustled through the crowds.
A walk through Central Park was a brief but welcome respite from the intensity of the cement world in which it is encased. Pretty, reminiscent of my experience of St. James park in London, I fully understood its significance within the NYC urban landscape – which is probably proportionate with the percentage of space it takes up on the island of Manhatten.
The whirlwind tour ended with dinner in 10×44, an interesting nook of a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. Being in a new place made me bold and I ordered food I would never normally think of ordering: watermelon salad (two chunks of yellow and red watermelon with feta cheese and some tomatoes), and a lobster taco (salsa mixed with lobster and avocado with a soft shell). Both were delicious and I was all the more satisfied at having tried something new and actually liking it!
I had only one goal on my trip to New York this time. Fully aware of the lack of time I had on this particular trip to explore deserving landmarks as much as I would have liked, I focused on obtaining my first pairs of Fluevog shoes.
Check them out. I love them.
So, overall, a very interesting experience. I’ll definitely go back to explore it fully.