Love, hate and New York
I love New York! I hate New York! I love New York!
Love and hate are the words that I have heard more than once during my current stay in The city. Locals love it, but they also hate it.
There might not be time or place to breathe between the buildings touching the sky, it’s expensive and people have to work hard just to get by. But it’s also the number one place for options, chances and dreams to come true. For a week long holiday all that Huss and Fuss is manageable, but what will you do if you’re intent on spending more time in the concrete jungle?
Even for seasoned travelers New York can be overwhelming with its crowded streets, often extreme weather conditions, the incredible melting pot of cultures and the tough attitude of the New Yorker. That is exactly what happened to me during my first week.
For the first time in my life, I experienced a week long cultural shock and jet lag. I arrived to the City full of excitement and was quite nervous if everything was going to go well. Well, it certainly didn’t! In the first week I managed to get into more troubles than I have ever had to deal with. My journey started with a forgotten wallet and was followed by a stressfull 30-minute speed drive to the airport with a quite sweaty fear of missing my flight. The day continued with a 20-hour flight journey because the flights were late, and my luggage got lost.
When I finally arrived at my new place in Brooklyn, I decided to explore the second floor of my apartment, and managed to lock myself out completely – by taking the wrong keys.
I was alone on the streets, it was 5am and I had no phone. And for the record, I was wearing flip flops and a towel. To make matters worse I got really sick during that whole first week and had to go to a doctor twice (not a cheap thing to do). Needless to say that all plans of exploring the City were put to a halt.
I will at this point spare you the story of how I got locked inside a community garden, even though that one isn’t all bad since I did have a stranger hand me a cup of coffee and croissant.
Yeah New York is weird that way. Just when you think you made up your mind it comes around with something completely puzzling and forcing you to reconsider your views all over again. My first week here was full of ups and downs but now I’m finally starting cherish my current surroundings. And I will admit that for a second I thought that I could hate New York.
What changed my mind?
- The stranger who brought me the coffee and the croissant.
- Meeting a friend from Finland by accident the first night I went out. We bumped into her in the funky live music bar, Mercury Lounge.
- Going to the local supermarket and having my mind blown with all the vegan and organic options to buy and eat. There no longer are fast food restaurants at every corner.
- Treating myself with the best tasting donut of my life in the breakfast restaurant called Dough, in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
- Taking the subway in the right direction the first time on the first try. (Tt took a couple of attempts to get to that point, New York’s subway system is simple, but quite tricky for the first timers.)
- A taxi ride over Williamsburg bridge on my first night, and seeing the legendary skyline of Manhattan while enjoying from a warm summer breeze.
- Running my morning run in Prospect Park, in Brooklyn.
- Listening to Katy Perry’s concert by accident from Brooklyn Bridge when biking home.
- Surfing at Rockaway beach. You can take surf lessons at different locations. The easiest ways to head to the beaches are by car, subway or bus. The price for a two hour lesson is around 80 Dollars.
- Realizing the unlimited options the city has to see and experience.
I guess it’s true what they say. If you make it New York, you can make it anywhere. That only happens if you first give the city a chance to show its full potential. Afterwards it will take a look at yours.
This post is the first of the upcoming short New York series. Rita is writing about her experiences, the good and the bad, in the Big Apple. A small girl, a big city and a suitcase full of excitement.
Photos Rita Maria