Many people, including me, love to travel to New York City. Many do all throughout the year. A lot of the other popular cities, like London, Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam are all kind of bundled together on one continent and within flying distance. So you can do a tour. Seeing how far away the USA is located for most people on this planet, it must have a lot to offer to people if they flock there in droves and get on minimum seven hours flights to get there.
A large amount of people that travel to the USA go to New York City. Why would they do that? I will tell you why. New York City is really, really cool.
What is the first impression a tourist will have when he sets foot in New York City? He will feel overwhelmed. I can only think of London if you would ask me to compare it to a city at least comparably in size. This city is huge. It is as large as a province in many medium sized countries. Each one of the five boroughs in New York City are at the very least as big as the cities where most of it’s visitors come from. It’s streets are so wide, it will take you forever to cross one. And not only the city’s sky scrapers, but also it’s ordinary apartment- and office buildings are taller than most have ever seen. No one strolling around this city can escape the sensation of feeling overwhelmed.
The second impression a large part of new arrivals will most likely have is the extent of diversity in this city. If you land in New Jersey, you might find yourself wondering if you got on the wrong one and ended up in Nairobi. They often call the United States a ‘country of immigrants’. This makes New York City the capital of immigrants. This proves itself when you wonder through the city. There is no ethnicity that can claim to be the authentic one, the original. And even though you may visit neighborhoods that are very ethnically homogeneous, the vibe there is certainly more relaxed than in Europe. Less of a strong feeling of segregation, but more of certain ethnicities living in neighborhoods where they feel more comfortable, and hereby giving a certain ‘Spanish’ or ‘Eastern-European’ feel to the place. Does your appearance seem kind of out of place there? You will rarely have the sensation of feeling out of place in any of the cities’ five boroughs.
Does this city open its arms to everyone? While I have heard people complaining about how expensive this city is as to housing, I think it does. Just take the subway for an hour through the city and witness the difference in people’s backgrounds. Then you will know that this city is for everyone. I could not find a ‘center’ where it would seem so much better to live at. Every neighborhood has its charm. If you like to live among lots of graffiti, you can try hipster Williamsburg, but most likely will spend less on housing in Harlem, where they have their own art covering the buildings.
The hustle and bustle of this city tends to have an adverse effect on the people that visit it. It tends to make you want to slow down and chill. The temptation on a sunny day to grab some take-away food and run off to Central Park can be overwhelming. After some relaxing you might feel like being active. So dive into its art and culture. From the Museum of Modern Art to the Queens Museum, everyone should discover the abundance of art in this city. Even New Yorkers. Museums only charge you the amount you are willing to pay, and at times entry is free of charge.
So how would a perfect day in New York City look like? One would get a ticket for the subway and just sit there for hours and watch people. He would try to envision what kind of people these sitting across from him could be, according to their appearance. He would strive to pen fictional stories about these people’s lives. But that is purely my own mind wandering off.
But do take the subway, and not only to get to Coney Island. Which is very nice by the way. The subway is a wonderful microcosm of diversity in people and appearances. You can hardly get that by visiting Manhattan alone. And for a capital city with a lot of hustle and bustle, New Yorkers are generally nicer and more relaxed that in most larger cities I have visited. It seems that New York is very much a work hard, play hard city. Everyone acknowledges the other person’s struggle in making a living. And everyone has their place in this city.
You can not always say that about every place.