There’s something very magical about the largest cities of the world; whether it’s in Asia, Europe, or North America, every time I’m in one, I’m inspired by the energy of the citizens, enthusiasm of travelers, to a point where I’m completely content just to walk the streets and watch people go about their day. I’ve felt this in Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and now finally, New York City.
Of course, out of all of these, New York is probably the only place in North America that can compare with the other “major” cities of the world in terms of sheer size and pace. The entire downtown of Seattle could probably fit in one East/West strip of midtown Manhattan, and it was incredible seeing endless rows of skyscrapers knowing that there are just as many rows behind them. From the Avenue of the Americas, to the Canyon of Heroes, to Broadway, New York doesn’t disappoint when it comes to showing you how big Manhattan life can be.
NYC also had the unique feeling of being the Mecca for all things that matter in the mainstream America. San Francisco has it’s tech niche, Seattle has music and art (and some tech), but get to New York and make it big; that is, success in America. Whether it’s in finance, performance, international politics, tech success, culinary mastery, fashion, entertainment, get recognized in New York and it’s the world giving it’s cheers. I’ve got to hand it to New York for being one of the world’s living, beating centers of human existence. I wonder if I would perceive it’s glory if I had grown up there, but for an outsider, taking my first real taste of the city, it’s truly something else, and a place that everyone must see.
That said, in the midst of all things grand, it was still the little, human things that got to me most; The hardworking street vendors closing up their shops; the crazy hobos spreading their the world-is-coming-to-an-end FUD; NYC subway crews smiling (or not) at people passing by, and so on. Instead of being a statistic in a city of nearly eight million souls (something that many from smaller towns seem to fear), each seemed to be raised up by the combined energy of the city.
The most awesome thing is, despite having spent nearly 5 days in New York, it feels like I’ve hardly even scratched the paint; there’s so much I haven’t done there that I know that I’ll have to be back. A month, or maybe even a year. I haven’t seen the nitty gritty yet that I know is out there, perhaps just off on another block, and I wonder if I’ll eventually be disillusioned by what I perceive now to be grandeur, but I’m pretty thick-skinned, and my passions die hard.
And once again, I come back to my life routine, having witnessed something awesome, and inspired by something grand–work is a little more meaningful here, and I’ve been reminded about why I love to travel.
Okay, so that’s enough of my summary, I’ll post more details next.