Of places I’ve always wanted to go, New York was just… never really one of them. But when life is like hey, I think you should go! I think it’s kind of a sign to go for it.
Last summer one of my close friends offered me the chance to go stay with her in Manhattan. So I took my first ever solo plane ride on my first ever trip to states to experience all things American. Was I expecting to like it there? No. Did I get the biggest thrill when I saw the epic city skyline as I was landing at JFK? Of course I did!
Endless skyscrapers poked out of a misty hazy and for a moment I couldn’t believe that I was actually in a place of true movie make-believe. I also couldn’t believe that on landing I couldn’t get hold of my friend. At all.
I stood in the airport with a sudden sense of panic. Had I just flown thousands of miles only to arrive on the wrong day? What if I couldn’t find her? Jumping in a cab and hoping for the best felt like the right thing to do. This was a land built on hope and dreams after all. In true film style my chance was rewarded with an “Ohmygodwherehaveyoubeen?!” greeting on arrival in the city. An hour later and we were sat in the centre of Central Park where I kid you not I immediately met a whole family of racoons.
Living in London, I didn’t think views from high buildings would really be anything new, but there’s something about the vastness of the twinkling lights that you see at night from The Empire State Building that has enough romantic sway to win over any city cynic… even after the simulator ride that I don’t think anyone really wants to go on.
And finding yourself having a major fan girl moment the next morning outside Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment is never a bad way to start the day.
Despite the quirks of Coney Island and the chilled charm of Brooklyn, of all the amazing moments in this way-too-short trip, the most humbling and important one was a night visit to the 9/11 memorial.
Nestled in the hustle and bustle of the city, two pools of water and light provide a moment to reflect. One where you realise how lucky you are for all that you have and to be right where you are at that very moment.
I never thought I’d say it, but I heart New York.