Now that I’ve traveled beyond my country’s borders, perhaps I spend a little time at home. Not too long after my first trip to the UK, I am scheduled to visit the BIG APPLE – NEW YORK, NY. Most would be thrilled about going to the famous city that never sleeps, I on the other hand had mixed emotions. I am a big city native and is familiar with the hustle and bustle energy it’s known for…besides, I don’t impress easily. I know you’re thinking, it’s different to visit somewhere new. I concur, that’s the whole point of travel – experience something new. I just didn’t have the typical enthusiasm as most. Did it have something to do with it being work related, maybe? I would say that it may have contributed 30% of my melancholy attitude, 40% was a mix of another big city with rude individuals, along with I may not have enough time to do something fun anyways; while the remainder 30% was having no expectations and telling myself just enjoy the experience. The swirl of thoughts and anticipation of how this trip will end, is now making me impatient. What can I say, I can be circuitous at times…
Summer circa, (clearing my throat) never mind the date, it was after the towers came down, so not too long ago. The team is off to NY and guess who sits in first class? No, not me, my manager who is so GQ it’s not even funny. Nice guy, but he has to have it this way, if not all the time, the majority of the time. Meanwhile, my co-worker and I sit in economy class, but luckily it wasn’t a full flight and it was a newer plane, so it wasn’t bad at all. I actually prefer us to be away from the ‘man’ while in transit. It gave each of us a chance to be in our own little worlds before we touched down and began the fury of schedules. I take a private car to the hotel. My favorite way to travel in New York…the energy of the cabby filled streets don’t penetrate the comfort of your luxurious ride. Uh oh, I think I am getting spoiled already and we just got here. First order of business, we attend a conference at Chelsea Piers, which entails us to put on the plastered smile, shake hands and kiss babies. Okay, so there were no babies there, but you get the idea. It was a bit stiff, but I get through it. Dinner at a swanky restaurant, next day we have half the day to do a little shopping or whatever you want to fill your time. Of course I have to go to the infamous Macy’s, 5th Ave, Time Square and Rockefeller Plaza. I may be new at this, but I’m a natural – pack it all in within a few hours. I met a really friendly young lady in Macy’s and we became fast friends. She explains how it is living in NY (I always want to know the raw story), and how it’s not what the advertisers and Hollywood sell to the public. Sidebar, how is it that Hollywood, CA have authority to deliver or feed stories about cities across the world other than itself? Yes, it’s a theatrical factory, full of fantasy and fictitious glamour, but why do we accept it as truth? Why do we use it as a guide to navigate reality? It is the most ridiculous concept. I hope that we accelerate the pace of waking up and demand quality of life for not just our personal endeavors, but from what entertains, informs and governs us. Back to the adventures of my new friend. So, we have a quick lunch and she tells all. She explains how the living conditions is below standard for size, comfort and cost, if you’re not in the 1%. And, how the frantic energy that permeates the air is not conducive for long-time endurance. She shares more, but you get my point. Yes, I am sure most of you who are reading this know the realities of NY, rather it’s from living, visiting or knowing someone who’s from there, but there are a few out there who don’t. So, for the sake of potentially learning something new, continue to humor me. Who knows, you may see things from a different angle when this is through.
I was also shocked to learn that the New Yorkers weren’t caught up in the previous dubious tragedy of the twin towers incident. Now, don’t get belligerent just yet. It’s terrible that people lost their lives during this event, but the cause of it, is altogether something different and that’s what my description is referring. The people on the outside of the city get this constant reminder of the twin towers every year, and I think it’s just too much. We all have lost loved ones in some way, rather it was by way of call of duty, illness, old age or something else. But, you don’t recall their transition every year with a ceremony. It’s not only emotionally draining, but mentally unhealthy for the healing process. This staged ceremonious anniversary the media shoves down our throat is out of line in my opinion; and it pushes a different agenda outside the remembrance of the first responders and innocent by-standers. New York is the epicenter of political spin, financial manipulation, social annihilation and image deception. Forget what you heard about DC, this city is running the show. They run DC, can you say ‘bail-out’? After all my political tirade, if you still have a little bit of energy left to hear the last bit of my story, here it goes…
After I experience the city, we head to Syracuse for a company sponsored football game with the world famous Manchester United, that’s soccer for you yanks. I became an instant fan! I enjoy sports, watching and participating, but this particular sport was off my radar since I became an adult. I am back in the stands…an absolute blast! I had the privilege of experiencing New York’s three sides, the good-bad-ugly and concluded that my time there was worth it. I learned so much from walking its streets, meeting its people (modest to wealthy), rooting for a world-class team on one of its infamous university campus’, supping with the inclined and riding in an authentic yellow taxi with a profanity spewing driver as he maneuvered through the thick lanes of traffic. If I didn’t experience it, It would hard to believe it. To see a place up close and personal is the best way to know and comprehend its true nature. Perhaps the hype of New York is more commercial than anything. They don’t tell you the ‘man behind the curtain’ story, but it’s up to you to learn the real deal about anything you encounter. A Quick NY Fact: The Statue of Liberty was given to the US by the French abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye for the atonement of eradicating slavery, and sculpted by French artist Auguste Bartholdi. Originally designed as an African American woman (Bartholdi used Egyptian women sketches as a source), but was rejected by the Caucasian Americans. The book replaced the broken chains, but the artist found a way to keep the chains in the design by putting one on her left foot.
If you plan a spring break or summer holiday in NYC, checkout the Statue of Liberty to see the left foot for yourself.
Here are some resources to help you enjoy your adventure. SAFE TRAVELS!
OFFICIAL NEW YORK CITY GUIDE
I LOVE NEW YORK