This past week I had a truly remarkable experience visiting New York City with some really amazing people. Its been a long awaiting dream of mine to visit the city so finally experiencing it was surreal. I definitely thought I would have some understanding of what the city would look like considering I have like 6 pictures hanging in my room. But it was nothing like what I had imagined. It was so much more. The smells, the sounds, the size…it was truly incredible and you have to see it to believe it. Since we were only there for 2 days I only was able to get a small taste… but from that small taste I learned, saw, and experienced SO much. When I experience new things I usually have cheesy realization moments and I like to reflect back on what I learned. Here are three quick things I realized in the big apple.
The world is huge (holy cow)
This was not the first time I realized that the world is big. But this was the first time I could actually feel how big the world is. The top of the Rockefeller Center gives you the most indescribable view of the city. I’m not going to try to describe it because like I said…Indescribable. The view felt endless. 8 million people in the city and I was overlooking the whole thing. It was amazing. So many people, each living their own lives with their own baggage to carry. Made me feel very small…which brings us to my next realization moment.
In the grand scheme…I am nothing
As a “typical tourist” I kind of felt like I was sticking out. All of these New Yorkers were moving fast paced, using the shortcuts, and somehow dodging every taxi that ran a red light. At first, I felt self-conscious like I didn’t fit in and would be a bother to the locals, but what I quickly realized was…well no one cared. I easily walked 10 blocks and made eye contact with zero people. How cool is that? You could walk down the street wearing nothing but underwear and a cowboy hat (yes I did see that) and nobody would think twice about it! I can’t walk into
the grocery store without seeing a solid 12 people I know and having a conversation with each of them. Don’t get me wrong I love living in a small town, but it is so easy to get caught up in your own little life and forget how big the world actually is. In Times Square I sat at a table for a few moments and just watched people in the midst of the hustle and bustle. So many different types of people, having conversations, each heading somewhere different, going through different things. This truly allowed me to remember how big the world is and how in the grand scheme of life I am nothing. I think that might be why I loved walking through the city so much…I just felt free to be who I am because I knew not a single person paid any attention to me. There was no pressure to act a certain way. I loved it.
It was the “nitty-gritty” that made me fall in love
Times Square was glamorous. There were flashing lights, shining billboards, enormous stores, and a Starbucks on every single corner. It was more amazing than I had ever imagined it to be. But for me, that wasn’t what made New York City feel like New York City. Does that make sense? No? Let me explain. To me, NYC has a personality. It has this aspect of uniqueness with qualities you can’t find in any other city. But it wasn’t the “iconic” tourist sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or Central Park that made it feel unique. For me, it was those little “hole in the wall” one of a kind places that gave NYC such an alluring personality. A huge piece of pizza from a small grungy pizza shop, a gyro from a food truck on the street, and a macaroon from a cute little bakery… those were the things that made me fall in love with NYC. I saw so many unique coffee shops and it just ignites excitement in my heart. I want to try them all. I may or may not have made a list of the hole in the wall places I will be trying next time I come. New York City has this sense of wonder… something I have never felt before. I get butterflies just thinking about it. Just something about it that makes New York City a truly magical place.