Sunday, May 29, 2011

a foreigner in NYC .

The other day while surfing Youtube videos (you know how easy it is to get caught up in all those 'related videos' and suggestions Yt gives you...) I stumbled across a video about New York. I began to search videos about New York City, ones that included some of the breathtaking views and some incredible time lapses. My favorite spots include the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and the Great Lawn in Central Park. It was at this point I realized that New York has always been a large part of my life -- even if my family didn't go a lot. It's the fact that it's right there... and always has been. I still remember how excited I was to take the ferry from Jersey to the Statue of Liberty -- and climbed all the way to the crown, sliding down the stairs one by one on my butt on the way down because I was so tired from the climb up. I invite you to look up some pictures of aerial views of New York City... needless to say it has officially become a dream of mine to fly over the city like that and experience the peaceful serenity of the sky that envelops you while having a special view of the chaos that is never ending below.

Imagine being from a foreign country. Not only has this fantasy world of America been mentioned, but New York City has as well. It's funny -- NYC is not the capital of New York, Albany is. And although D.C. is our political capital, I'm pretty sure that New York City is the capital of the country in every other way. That is the place visitors want to go to. And with good reason, the place is absolutely magical. I was too young the first time I went to the city to really appreciate it... I think that the first time was in 8th grade (sad, I know, considering how close I live) to go on a theater trip to see Phantom of the Opera. I liked it then, but questioned the fact that I could ever live there.

Who knows what the future holds. There is an offered summer studio in New York City through Clemson, so I'd love to that maybe next summer. Well, I guess that's really the last real summer I'll have... scary thought...

Times Square is easily one of the most popular destinations of the city. Always tons of people meandering around the square, shopping, taking pictures, creating memories. And that number practically triples once the sun goes down. This, my friends, is the best example of the not sleeping part of 'the city that never sleeps.' And yet some people bypass that area because it's old news. Have they lost the magic? Or do they just now choose to ignore it? Walk around in Times Square and you'll notice tons of different styles, various languages being spoken, foreigners of all sorts -- whether that's from a different continent entirely or just from a different part of the country. The city is just a real eye-opener.

Just like many of the dreams of people in the States is to visit specific places in Europe, I think I would be the same if I had never been to America. Despite the fame of Hollywood and Los Angeles, or the history in D.C., without a doubt the first place I would come is NYC, hands down. I love going and just watching the people in that part. You can just see the awe on their faces, the wonder, the magic is there. My suggestion to a first-time visitor?

Take the train. It's much more interesting.. and easier to deal with... just think, no need to find a place to park. Plus, it's part of the NY experience.
Go early in the day... you're going to want as many minutes as you possible can get there. My time seems to slip away so fast there.
First thing when you walk out in the street -- look up. Mind, blown. Officially. Trust me... it's worth it.
Find some way to take a ride along FDR Drive. Both during the day and the night. Passing under all the bridges and the water and everything... it's awesomeee.
Go to Brooklyn. It provides great views of the city, and has some awesome neighborhoods (though be careful about where you end up at night...) and some even better places to eat.

The most important thing is to just be there. Soak it all in. Experience it... If all plans work out this summer, I'll have the chance to go with some people maybe 3 or 4 times... and I couldn't be more excited. Maybe someday, I can live in New York... probably not Manhattan, but I wouldn't mind Brooklyn or anything. I'm just glad I've had the privilege to have it in my backyard, and I truly hope that everyone that wants to gets a chance to visit!

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