Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple
Years ago I wrote a blog about wanting to go to New York, you can read it here. I said I wanted to go within the year. Well, 2 years, 8 months and 16 days later, I landed in New York City. My recurring dream of traveling to New York was finally achieved.
I remember one trip I went on with my in-laws to Mexico. We were at the end of the trip and we asked everyone what their favourite part of the trip was. Everyone gave their answers and then my father-in-law said “The bus ride to the resort.” I looked at him like he had farted out of his mouth. Out of all the things we had done, that was your favourite?!? He went on to explain that it was the anticipation of arriving, the excitement of a new place. I never fully understood this until I arrived in New York.
Having dreamt about New York over the past 20 years, riding in that cab to our hotel was a surreal, exhilarating and amazing dream come to life. In the distance, you could see the Empire State, World Trade One, the Chrysler building, all looming in the distance like old friends I’d never met. Then we went through the Midtown Tunnel and pop out the other side into the forest of concrete and glass, a beehive of humanity and noise that is a constant no matter what time of day or night.
First things first, I love the energy and the dynamic way the city operates. Things always seem to be broken, scaffolding is everywhere, but life happens around it and works better than most places I’ve been. People move through the streets like fish or a flock of birds, no one ever seems to bump into each other, unless you’re a tourist, we always seem to get in the way. Crosswalk lights are suggestions, no one waits for them. Tourists wait on the corner, New Yorkers step out onto the street, wait for the car to miss them by inches and cross between cars going so fast they would flip you like Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. But after a day or so you get into the flow, you become part of the herd, you start to move like a New Yorker.
The food, wow. You can go anywhere at anytime. Pizza at 2am, Thai food at noon, beers for breakfast. Whatever you like. Not only does the city never sleep, it is such a rich mix of cultures and so densely packed, that you could sell food around the clock. Some highlights were: Cheesecake at Benash, Thai food with three dollar Singhas while people watching in Hells Kitchen, Philly Cheesesteak at Shortys, Croquets at a Belgian Bar and drunken late night, New York style pizza.
Sites and scenes. There are too many to list but I can give you a brief breakdown, we saw everything and nothing. We were going the whole time we were there. Sun up to sun down and we saw all of the things we wanted to and more but missed so many things. There is so much to do there, you could never fit it all into one week. Below is my tweet by day breakdown of the trip.
But the most important part of the trip was who I went with. My wife, it was her that arranged for me to go, by getting the flights arranged (thanks, Kristel) and organizing spending money for the trip for my birthday. I then returned the favour and shared my dream with her by bringing her along. I couldn’t imagine going with anyone else. She has been my best friend, my anchor to reality and responsibility and the love of my life, I would take her anywhere.
So if you have a dream, someplace you’d like to go, or something you’d like to do, just make it happen. Don’t plan for 10 years from now, make it happen now. With a little help from your loved ones, by either emotional support, little nudges, big nudges, steering you in the right direction or just believing you can achieve it, you can do anything. Make your New York happen. I did.