Travel doesn’t have to be far across the seas. Sometimes it means visiting an overwhelming city just four hours from you. Though not far from my home, New York’s big city vibes, rushing working people, and gawking tourists might as well be another country. Nothing. No where. Is like New York City. And with the amazing city that NY, NY is, I think people forget that New York state has mountains to ski, woods, farms, lakes, and even Amish!
My first trip to New York city was for an 8th grade choir trip to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. At the time I had a disposable camera that I still have photos from in a little scrapbook. How times have changed– yet New York proper with its Times Square, lights, noise, people, and busyness never has.
A few years later in high school, I joined a group of students from my church to do a Thanksgiving food giveaway for the homeless. Inviting people to join us, we invited people of every kind to eat a hot meal which we gave and served with smiles and joy. I never knew that a pair of socks, or new jacket could mean so much as we handed those out to the people we came across as well.
Then, there was the first time I drove through the city in college. My big brother was in the passenger seat next to me, coaching me how to navigate driving amongst the oceans of people and anxiety producing honks from cars lined up behind if I didn’t move fast enough. A few times I’ve made actual day trips to the city just to run errands like dropping someone off at JFK or needing a foreign consulate office. NYC a hub of all kinds is never a first choice for a day trip– but I’ve made the drive with no other choice.
The most enjoyable NYC trip was an actual business trip, spending a week at a time for two weeks at big hotels in the city. You know, the fancy kinds with doormen, elevators that act like spaceships with their speeds, and food I didn’t even know how to pronounce on the menu. Those two weeks with the basketball team I worked with were a taste of how famous and business people live every day flying in and out of the city on other’s money.
From Times Square to China town, riding in the train from Jersey, getting lost by myself in the financial district one night after midnight on my way back to Brooklyn, discovering the Christmas trees and hotel from Home Alone, and kissing my boyfriend in Central Park the very last trip I took, I truly have memories to spare of my trips to NY. I cherish each visit, though I am never sad to leave the smoggy, overwhelming place. New York– a place of wonder, lights, the best of Broadway, homelessness to be tackled, cockroaches to be killed, and food and drinks that always looks like it should be in a magazine all in one bright package.