Ah, New York we meet at last. City that never sleeps, apple of my eye. How I’ve longed to visit your concrete jungle and get lost in it.
Stepping out of my canary yellow taxi, which took me from JFK airport to the heart of New York City, I was stifled by the thick heat. It was high summer and a bitter-sweet scent filled my nostrils, reminiscent of rotting fruit mingled with the stiff cologne of passing business men.
In that first moment I understood exactly why New York had come to be known as the greatest city in the world. The essence of this is epitomised in what I can only describe as ‘the rush.’ It is the relentless and vivacious energy that collects you and carries you down past smouldering chimneys, apartment blocks stacked well into the sky, jazz bands busking in Grand Central terminal, the cool hiss of money being made on Wall Street, the buzz of parties being had on rooftop terraces, the multicultural march of Manhattan.
I dragged my heavy suitcase behind me, eyes widened to my new surrounds. I was so lost in the experience that I passed the entrance to the apartment where I would be staying, only to have to double back along Warren Street. The door man, who told me to call him George, chuckled at my excited exclamations and awe of the city as I spluttered to introduce myself. I felt like a fish out of water! But a fish that was just about to be dropped into a new, very large, very deep tank to swim in.
Upstairs, in my top floor room, the stillness almost felt unnatural when juxtaposed against the whirlwind of the city below during peak hour. I looked down onto the streets of Tribeca and had the strange sensation that they were beckoning to me.
And just like that, with a quick change of clothes and tilt of the hat from George, I found myself once more collected and carried away by the great New York rush. Who knew what I would find?