Monday, August 15, 2011

Why I Heart NY

NYC...There's Something About You

I spent four days in New York City last week. And I consumed all 96 hours or so marveling at how native New Yorkers get through every single day in their hometown.

Except for a 2-month stint as an intern between my junior and senior years of college, I've always been a tourist in New York. Since we live in DC, it's easy to hop a train or even get Big Blue out on the Jersey Turnpike for a quick trip to the Big Apple.

Typically, my chicas and I will visit for a long weekend. We take in a couple of Broadway shows, eat some outstanding food (Paris, you can have your patisseries; Rome, you can have your trattorias ~ New York's cuisine is an around-the-world smorgasbord) and then scoot on back to our Nation's Capital.

Last week, I hoofed it up the Turnpike to pick up Ella Numera Dos from her own two-month NYC summer internship. And I had a few flashbacks from so many years ago.

In New York, when it rains, it pours. Literally. I arrived in a rainstorm, which quickly turned into a driving monsoon. I was determined to see the sights despite the weather, so I headed out to a local pizzeria. Note to self: A hotel blowdryer does not do much toward getting a sopping wet denim jacket into tip-top shape. And Nikes take a good two full days to return to normal after a summer storm in the city. One week later, they continue to stink from their water-logged excursion.

Another fact to consider when visiting in the summertime: Even though the Big Apple technically is located in the Northeast, it's pretty much a steambath in the summer months. The combination of crowds, traffic and general all-around city funk doesn't help. And the subway stations aren't air-conditioned. Don't think AC had been invented at the turn of the last century, when many of the stops on the 1, 2 and 3 Lines were installed.

New York teems. No news there. Times Square is not the place one wants to be in mid-afternoon, even on a weekday. We gamely waded into the throng, walking upstream along Broadway between 41st and 49th. Even though we were technically walking north, we were forced every 10 feet or so to navigate east, then stagger west, and a couple of times zig-zag south, in order to make it to our destination on time.

But New York is also the real deal. From the Verizon employees voicing their discontent while walking a raucous picket line, to the father and his two young girls literally dancing in the street to tunes blasting from a boombox in a corner newsstand, New Yorkers live with a demonstrative sense of self. The miasma associated with co-existing cheek to jowl with about 8 million other folks gives the natives a brash sense of entitlement and an edgy enthusiasm that's contagious.

The reviews are still out on Ella Numera Dos' tenure in NYC. The snap above, though, which she shot from the Brooklyn Promenade at sunset on July 4, illustrates what makes the city tick. Yes, New York's skyline is synonymous with big dreams. But the shadows of the waterfront piers on the murky East River show a city that also works hard at being special.


Jeanie said...

It works hard at being special and it succeeds. I love your descriptions.

Pseudo said...

I loved your descriptions too.

We got to go for 5 days in the summer of 2007 and have been trying to find a way back sine.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never been!

blueviolet said...

I'm glad you got to go see her, but sorry it was so rain-filled!

Cheryl said...

So, no wind? That's my special memory of walking in NYC. The wind tunnels that'll fly you to Oz.

Tracy P. said...

Great post, beautiful shots! We went the week of Thanksgiving (BEFORE the parade), and were amazed at the colorful leaves and sweater weather. We didn't expect NYC to be six weeks warmer than home!

Working Mommy said...

That is such a beautiful picture!



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