Now, before you roll your eyes at this post and think I’m just another one to jump onto the bandwagon of the ‘American Dream’ who is sold on it after only one week in one city, just hear me out.
First of all, I fully admit I can’t, at this point in time, say, “I love New York City.” I stepped onto Staten Island for all of five minutes before hopping back onto the ferry to go back the other way, I only drove through Queens in a taxi on my way to JFK, and I never visited either Brooklyn or The Bronx. I am also aware that New York City is a closed off little island that represents a very different society and culture to America as a whole.
But I do love Manhattan. More than anywhere else I have ever been in my entire life.
I have been so fortunate in my short time on this planet to have visited many fantastic cities. Munich, Nuremberg, Florence, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris and London- to name a few. Each reflects a totally different way of living and has their own merits and downfalls.
If you love a more laid back, easy lifestyle, I’d never try to sell Manhattan to you as a place to live. But as someone who doesn’t feel intimidated by crowds, loves the fact that you can walk around at 3am and find that there is something going on, wants to turn a corner and end up in a block that is in total cultural contrast to the last one, and feels endlessly inspired by the towering buildings and shining lights of this beautiful city, I couldn’t help but feel like being in Manhattan was like being at home.
Walking miles through Central Park (and, let’s be honest, a fair few through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, too), looking out from the balcony all the way from Greenwich Village to Midtown and the Chrysler building in the distance, making my way to Union Square every day to catch the Subway to somewhere new and exciting… Some people say they feel enclosed and claustrophobic within the soaring structures of the city and its existence as a little island, but I’ve truly never felt more free, more at ease or happier in my whole life.
All the big dreams I’ve ever had were formed when I could count my age on my fingers, but I have a new one now. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get back there someday.