People often think of New York as a concrete city, with building after concrete building, centred around a fundamental desire for financial wealth. I certainly did before I travelled there. But New York is so much more than that! New York is a culmination of over 8 million dreamers with their own individual story to tell. 'Welcome to New York' you hear the friendly locals say, in restaurants, in shops and on the street. I was surprised how welcoming and genuinely kind everyone we came across was. And it's not just because they work for tips!
As you will notice in my FREE 5 Day New York City Guide, each borough and certainly each area within a borough has its own personality created by the people who live and work there. For example, you've got Brooklyn, with its artsy, hipster feel or you've got 'The Village' (Greenwich Village) with its bohemian feel and strong support of the modern LGBT movement. You've got the Upper East Side with its high class society or Harlem with its soul food and gospel heritage.
The thing I find so fascinating about New York City, and certainly Manhattan in particular, is that each building has hundreds, even thousands of rooms, each one lived in or worked in by an individual with their own story. Not only that, but think about how many people have shared their story with that building over time. If buildings could talk, they sure would have some interesting stories!
I don't know if you are familiar with Humans of New York (you probably are because it is an amazing body of work!). This was an initiative by a guy called Brandon to take portrait photographs of the individuals of New York and share their unique story with the world. These little quote snippets are fascinating and I am sure resonate for a lot of people out there who are struggling. You could read these stories for hours because they are just so raw and honest.
Although I love the buildings of New York, I also love Central Park, with it's green spaces, lakes and history. How is it that a park that is a huge 843 acres can be preserved in a city that is ever expanding and growing? With the increasing lack of space in New York City you would've thought a developer would have reclaimed part of the park by now. If you ever thought New York was a concrete city you would realise you were wrong after a visit to the peaceful and welcoming Central Park!
Whilst I was in New York, I used the New York City Pass which I had pre-purchased before I left Australia. Not only did it save me money combining all of the major sights I would have visited anyway, it was like a little New York bucket list if you will.
And in the words of Taylor Swift, "welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you"!
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