Thursday, April 11, 2013

NY Diary, Page One: Central Park

I know, right?

Welcome to New York. The city where everyone is an immigrant and a local at the same time. Read this first:

This much is true. In the week that I've been here, I've heard more forms of English than I might have in a week in the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Everyone here has their own version, and everyone else makes an effort to understand it.

I could say that about peoples' views on life here in general. I thought the other big cities I've been to in the world (*ahem* Europe *ahem*) were accepting because they didn't noticeably sneer down at you. But maybe I just wasn't noticing hard enough.

In that respect, New Yorkers are downright friendly. Everyone asks "How you doin' today?", and waits to listen to what you have to say. Bus conductors waive off bus tickets for kids who show up looking needy enough. Police officers don't fine car owners who have 'just stepped out for a second' from their illegally parked cars. And nobody looks at you any different, no matter how you're dressed or what colour, shape and size your hair - or for that matter, you - are. That may just be America in general, but New York is darn cool that way.

Its beauty lies in its immensity. I've been walking through it ten hours a day, borough by borough for a week now, and I still haven't touched the tip of most of what I'd like to see. There are so many people, so many neighbourhoods, so many touristy spots - and such a lot of hipster ones - that it's hard to see absolutely everything at once.

Still, the best kind of trip is one where you just can't get enough of a place, so you have something to come back to. In the space of the few days I've been here, I've seen tons and tons of tall buildings and the relatively warmer-looking houses, gorgeous mosaics of of coloured glass in churches and more people than I could have imagined outside of Southeast Asia. I've been to a free wine-tasting, a chocolate sampling, and paid good money for something awful called an egg cream, and something delicious called roasted almond tea. I've walked past three movie shootings in two days, gotten my nose pierced by an over-zealous Chinese man with pictures of nipple rings in his shop, gotten a free(!) tour of the inside of a fire station and also of arguably the most famous train terminal in the world, and gotten lost more times than I can keep track of. And I still want more.

The city has a lot to offer, to say the least, and I'm not even telling you about the most famous bits of it yet. More on that when I have the pictures to show you, but all my devices are taking a raincheck today (I don't blame them. There was an absolute storm outside today), and this is all I'm left with.

Lots more coming soon! Meanwhile, enjoy the view.

Pretty, no? It ought to be. It's Central Park!

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