It was a cold Wednesday evening when I flew into the city of New York. Trapped in a tiny airplane for over four hours, my eyes feasted hungrily on the million lights that were shining as bright as the dreams of the people of New York. My lips curve into an instant smile when I realize how much this beautiful image reminds me of home.
I eagerly step off the plane, desperate to walk the cold streets of this beautiful city. As I step outside the warm airport, I am greeted by the loud honks of the cars that fill up the streets. There are so many cars, so many people, and it’s all very new. Yet somehow this doesn’t intimidate my introverted mind. It excites me. I’m filled with a sense of adventure I haven’t felt in a while. I hadn’t spent even fifteen minutes in this city and I already knew that I wouldn’t mind getting lost in everything this city has to offer.
The three days I spent in New York went by in a blur – much like everything that transpires in this city. I saw people from all over the world, people of all kinds. Some kept to themselves, in typical New York fashion (or so I was told), some friendly and ready to strike up a conversation. Some raced to their destination, some took their sweet time crossing the ever-busy streets. There was not single moment of quiet. At any given instant, you would find ten different things occurring simultaneously. Where do I focus my attention? The beauty of Central Park, the horse drawn carriages, or the beautiful skyline that is illuminated by the traffic lights? What a beautiful city it truly is, where even traffic lights make for a beautiful picture.
It was on a Thursday afternoon that I ventured into Times Square for the very first time. I stepped out of the subway station, and there it was in all its beauty. So many lights. So many people. I was truly awestruck. I stared wide-eyed and with my mouth hanging open embarrassingly (well, embarrassing for my friend anyway) as I explored every corner of Times Square. I was truly giddy. But, oh, Times Square in the afternoon is no match for Times Square in the evening, when the Sun has said its goodbyes . When I climbed onto the highest step in the middle of Times Square, I was left speechless. It was simply magical. I still don’t know what it was about the view, but it moved me. There were so many people, all experiencing the same thing as I was. It was truly beautiful. Friday morning came, and I went to the top of the Empire State Building. What a breathtaking view. All I could see were buildings. Everywhere I looked, all I saw were tall buildings and tiny cars. What’s beautiful about concrete? Nothing, really; I was enchanted enough by this city to find it purely amazing.
The city is a perfect amalgam of cultures. One part of New York might be covered wall to wall in street art, another part just dripping in sophistication. It’s a perfect metaphor for the city; it’s a place, a home for people from all walks of life.
Whenever I think of New York, there’s a sense of attachment, a connection I feel towards it. I was there for only three days, but for some reason incomprehensible to me, it gives me a sense of belonging. Maybe it was just the pretty lights. Maybe it was because there were all sorts of people that found a home in this city, that I felt like I could too. Or maybe, it was because it was a spitting image of home.