December 23rd, 06:00: New York City, you’ll be mine tonight.
I believe that every city has its own energy, something invisible to the eyes but blinding for the heart. A specific ambiance, a way of living: something that differentiates it from other popular places around the world. And, as I visited New York for the last Christmas holidays, I confirmed my theory. After Paris, Berlin, London and Montréal, here is the story of my first adventure in the Big Apple!
As some of you may know, I have been studying and living in Montréal since last summer. Despite being among the most beautiful and confortable cities I have ever lived in, Montréal is also and mostly an intersection between some amazing places like Toronto, Québec, Vancouver, Boston and of course New York. So, last Christmas I snapped, I grabbed my passport and my luggage, booked a bus and made my way toward New York City, baby!
“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”
— John Updike
If I was born on the American continent, December 23rd was actually my first ever entry in the United States of America. A land of opportunity as they say, or rather a country that fascinates people as much as it repulses them.
Right beside the excitement and the eagerness, sat the anxiety. I love travelling, but it’s not always easy to find your marks into a cew city, especially when it’s not your country or first language. Yet, New York and the New Yorkers greeted me with open arms. I just can’t believe how nice and helpful people were out there.
Central Park, Liberty Island, Empire State Building, Met, Time Square […], I was literally stunned by the overwhelming beauty of that city. I mean, it’s not just pretty, it’s impressive! Even on days when I was feeling a little more down or tired, I would lift my eyes to the skyscrapers and be like « F*ck, I’m in New York!! ».
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”
— Simone de Beauvoir
Planning on going to New York?
As I know how it feels to go in the Metropolis for the first time and not knowing what to do, I got you covered. Here is what I would suggest :
The Statue of Liberty 🗽
Gifted as a present to the American nation by the French, the Statue of Liberty has became an icon of New York and of the United States. And trust me, even if you think you know it, you don’t. It’s way more impressive in reality!
It’s not like you were ever going to miss it. I litterally ended up on Time Square more time that I planned to but you should definitely go on Broadway Avenue, see all the shows, all the buildings, all the stores and screens.
The Empire State Building
The Empire State Building used to be the tallest building in New York City (now it is the One World Trade Center), and it’s litterally impressive when you get to go up and see all of the city, including Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City, from one point.
Whether it’s one of the Avengers movies, Gossip Girl or pretty much any movie that ever pictured a plce in New York, you definitely know Grand Central, at least from sight. Well… I’m happy to attest that the station is even more beautiful in real-life.
Waschington Square Park
Although it is not exactly in the center of activities of the city, I really enjoyed Waschington Square Park, especially how beautiful and ‘photogenic’ it was. And it’s free!
If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t think New York is a city where I would actually enjoy to live and work: it’s way too big, way too crowded and eventful. Yet, as I shot one last look at the Big Apple, I knew that whatever shall happen, I would be back, soon enough.
Have you ever went to New York, what were your favorite places? I would love to know more in the comments!