This was definitely a tick off my bucket list. It surprised me though, and I can’t quite articulate what I was really expecting, however...what rang true about Manhattan is that it felt human (between the high end parts around 5th Avenue and later seeing the boroughs with dirty streets and so many homeless people, I’d say this is a true representation of the juxtaposition life sometimes presents us with). That said, it was beautiful, friendly, tiny but also very expensive. A few other words I’d use to describe it are: Diverse. Fast-Paced. Humbling. Inspiring. Non-stop. Evolving. Challenging. Unforgettable.
It’s a city of dichotomies, exhausting and exhilarating, humbling and inspiring. It felt like it’d be one of the hardest cities you’ll ever live in but if you survive, you’ll never be able to live anywhere else.
Magical things I saw in NY
The NY Times office where two of my favorite writers and podcast hosts Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris work. (for the podcast ‘Still Processing’) Did I mention I met them when they were in Australia? It was awesome :)
Seeing Kool and the Gang live in concert at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Sadly the Times Square location announced it was closing after 18 years of hosting some of music and entertainment’s most revered names–including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Alicia Keys, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, and B.B. King himself who died in May 2015.
Meeting Danny Glover, the actor, director and political activist when he was in the New York office at the organisation where I work. It was great to listen to all the civil rights activism work he was doing at the time. It made me feel modest and realise what a tiny place I occupy in this world.
Experiencing Times Square which I’d like to call the epicentre of New York life. It didn’t feel right visiting New York without visiting the true heart of the city. Whether you walk there, cab there, subway there, bus there! I think it’s a must see. Some people are put off by how many people and tourists there are. I didn’t let the crowds bother me! It's New York!
Eating Fish Tacos for the first time at Tacombi,a nice little find with great food, friendly staff and I must say it helped that I was in the pleasant company of my friends who were NY locals at the time.
Experiencing snow for the first time, during the magical christmas season in NY. To see something for the first time is to see something in its purest and most childlike form of beauty. It actually brought back ‘Home Alone’ feels. I remember thinking "Is it supposed to be sunny outside? Why is it sunny?"