New York City – First Impressions
I first visited New York City when I was a young spring chicken in my very early 20’s. That was PP (pre-Paul), a murky and confusing time of my life (naturally) but a time of many crazy adventures nonetheless. I didn’t have much (well, any) money back then so it was very much a budget trip staying at the Youth Hostel, walking literally everywhere and eating the cheapest street food I could possibly find. I did splurge for a trip to the top of the Twin Towers (World Trade Center observation deck) for a view, and I remember thinking that this was one of the most beautiful cities I’d ever seen. That stay has lingered with me ever since.
You see despite my deep love of rural nature and the boonies, part of me is a city girl through and through. I grew up in one of the most vibrant cities in the world (Hong Kong) and I absolutely loved everything about it. The bustling energy, the hustle, the diversity, the food, the creativity and the feeling that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Paul and I reveled in that energy when we went back to live in HK as adults, and I’ve honestly never found it’s match…until I came to New York City.
My first day here it hit me like a tidal wave. A surge of humanity so intense and busy that it almost overwhelmed me.
If you’re not used to it, the city vibe can be jarring even downright terrifying and the first few days I had a hard time adjusting, especially coming from rural spots in MI as we had just days before. The pace was so crazy I felt like I was being shuffled and shoved from every corner. People rushing about to their work in high heels and suits, emergency vehicles screaming past with sirens blaring, construction workers thumping at every corner, cars honking and driving like maniacs with no patience for anyone in their way. It was noisy and unsettling.
But kind of like an ocean if you allow yourself to ease into the flow and run with the tide it becomes easy, almost natural. Slowly and surely I let myself slip into the flow, and slowly but surely it became part of me. Within days my city girl side was back and by the weekend I WAS the city. I was chatting to folks on the street, hopping onto the subway like a local, hustling through crowds like a pro and sucking in that vast energy that I love so much like a soul-energizing drink.
I tell you this. New York City is frikkin’ amazing and I could TOTALLY live here.
Of course blogging about this place is equally overwhelming. It’s such a huge city, with so many facets and so much going on that there’s no way I could capture it’s essence or do anything like a “top 5” which would even remotely do it justice. Besides we’re here mostly for the cat and given we only had a few days in-between to sightsee that meant narrowing down our outings to an absolute minimum.
So, we decided on just two things.
First, we wanted to stay close enough to the city that we could ditch our car and experience it by public transport and foot. For that kind of proximity there is only one place, Liberty Harbor RV Park (review coming). It’s nothing more than a dirt parking lot priced at an insane $90/night, but it’s right across the waterway from downtown Manhattan and it puts you right smack in the middle of the Big Apple. From here our goal was to use as many different types of public transportation as we could. Not only would that ease us right into that big city “flow”, but it would be the most fun and relaxing way to see the sights. Plus it would provide some interesting blog fodder too.
Secondly, we decided we’d hit just a few bucket list items and report back. No “top 5” or anything like that. Just some stuff we wanted to see and capture for ourselves and our readers. It’d be nothing more than a taste of this amazing place, but it would be a great adventure nonetheless. And those kinds of experiences are always worth sharing, are they not?
So here we go my dear blog readers. A few quick posts for a town that could easily take 50 or more. Settle down with me and let’s go ride the flow….
POST-EDIT NOTE/ For those wondering everything went fine with Taggart’s treatment and we’re now on radioactive pee watch until she’s completely cleared the I-131 out of her body. I’ll be doing a FULL update on the blog soon.