Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Heart In New York

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you should have found out by now that I am no longer in Manhattan and am now in Gainesville, Virginia. The time spent in New York City was like a blur, but also felt like a lifetime. After spending a week in NYC, the 3 hour train ride South to Virginia has landed me in what feels like another planet, let alone another country, state or city.

It comes as no surprise that the spirit of the City is to be constantly on the move, don't get left behind and eat or be eaten. Virginia couldn't be more on the contrary. Being just short of the "dirty South", Virginia expresses the slow and laid back lifestyle we often associate with the region while mixing the preppy elegance of the North East. It's easy to feel like you're at home in VA, but I also felt at home in NYC. Like a fly drawn to a zapper, I'm naturally attracted to big cities and it doesn't get much bigger then NYC.

I loved being on the go, speeding from point a to b came natural. While it was overwhelming at first, I found that I quickly adjusted to the system. The subway system in the city was so efficient, it's almost hard to believe that it was created over 100 years ago. As a pedestrian, you have to be aware and on point because it is easy to be trampled or hit by a car. Don't even get me started on what it was like on a bicycle; all I have to say is you need to be aggressive but it is absolutely the fastest way to get around the city. The constant chaos was inspiring in comparison to the mundane and "everyday" of Calgary, Alberta. Don't get me wrong, I love my home. It's just that I needed to gain some perspective and be inspired.

The people of NYC get a bad rep sometimes as being rude, but I found this to be a false accusation. Sure, they have a bit of an attitude, but you can hardly blame them considering their environment. Majority of the New Yorkers that I came across were extremely helpful and actually pleasant. Sure, they don't appreciate being made to wait, but who doesn't these days? The New Yorker has a mistaken identity and the famous rude attitude is just a misunderstanding of their often dry and sarcastic sense of humor. So a word of advice, don't be intimidated of New Yorkers, they too might be the most pleasant surprise of the trip.

There is way too much to see or do in NYC, but we managed alright considering we only had a week in the big city. We hardly slept for the week and punished our feet but it was well worth it. Here's an idea of what I did for a week:

Yankees vs. Orioles at the Yankee Stadium
Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Banks
Times Square
David Letterman
West Side Story
Break dancers and freestyling @ Union Square
The Met
Performance art @ The MoMA
Central Park/Strawberry Fields/Fountain Performers
Green, Red, Orange, Blue
Hail a Cab
High Line
Bryant Park
Missing out on Fallon/The Roots @ 30 Rock
Dinner atop the MAD
Cycling the Bowery
YES atop the Empire State Building
Pig ears and sweetbreads
Lady Liberty
Meatpacking District
Breakfast in Chelsea
Chelsea Market
Soho to Noho to Lower East to Madison Square
Nuts 4 Nuts
Common Sense was "Just Wright"
Secretly taken on a "Sex in the City" tour
1 L of Goose killed/Hello porcelain Gods
Train from Penn

I probably missed a lot but that should give you a good idea. We probably saw more in one week then most locals see in 5 years, so we did New York right. Stay tuned, plenty more New York and Virginia to come.



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