Early spring evening, sun starting to set. The taxi is slowly but surely inching its way over Queensboro Bridge. The Manhattan skyline in the background is nothing short of breathtaking. Inviting. Mysterious. Inside it, a world of adventures and opportunities. It’s easy to daydream yourself into a Woody Allen movie. Though at that very moment, I was just happy to be alive.
“Do you smoke?”, asked the taxi driver as we waited for the rush hour traffic to move. I started to reply, but was interrupted with; “I go fucking crazy when stuck in traffic!”. Ah. I considered claiming this spot was good for me and that I could walk the rest of the way. My delusion ended with a firm “Fuck it!” , followed by screeching tires. We were on the sidewalk. A shortcut I was assured. No doubt. Where’s the damn seatbelt when you most need it? He raced us into a crossing at the yellow light, car horn blazing. Once we back on our side of the road again, he smiled at me, and said simply, “Yeah!”.
I had arrived in New York City.
A city that seems oddly familiar, you feel at home despite never having been there. The gaze wander along the buildings that so eagerly reach for the sky, and you notice the mixture of modern, Gothic, and Art Deco architecture; a truly mesmerising sight. The way the light falls between them is a visual dream. The attitude and confidence of its people a defining aspect of this vast metropolis.
“And now like this!”, she struck another pose. Moments earlier I had been given a woman’s phone and been asked to take pictures of her in front of spring flowers outside Madison Square Park. That escalated quickly into a mobile phone photoshoot where the model directed herself into various poses. “Thanks, have a great day!”, and she was off faster than a satisfied hummingbird.
“I don’t like people”, the waiter said as he put down my vanilla shake, “they talk too much”. I pointed silently at the menu item for my main. We had an understanding.
There’s an ever present energy. Something, someone, is always moving. It’s never quiet. Yet there’s a certain calm in the turmoil. You are in the eye of the storm, surrounded by a disinterested friendliness. The sound of Jazz seems to forever linger in the back of your mind.
New York. A city impossible not to love.