So many mixed feelings about the city I fell in love with at thirteen. I started this trip coming from a new place in my life where I was genuinely very happy. I was satisfied with where I was at. I was finally actively seeking my best life and at the moment had no complaints about home sweet home. But.
Well, it’s New York for Christ’s sake. I went in thinking “I’m fine. It can’t hold up. What would I want here?” And then you descend into the subway, the smells, the clamor, the glory of several lives rushing about in a perfect order. And when someone shoved aside my suitcase with a sneer, I smiled and rushed about too. It’s easy to join in when everyone agrees to not wait up.
New York will always have my heart.
We settled into our Airbnb first, a really cool loft space in Brooklyn. Well, technically, first we lost the keys to the door for half an hour while we searched three flights of stairs (the key had fallen and gotten wedged in our suitcase handle). Then we settled in and got ready to explore!
We had very loose plans. Basically we wanted to wander the city and stop in anywhere we felt like. There was a couple of touristy things I had added to the list that were simply must-dos but for the most part our only rule was: If you pass a coffee shop, you must stop.
It seems the train you need is always broken. Our place was supposed to be twenty feet from a subway stop but of course it was under construction the exact amount of time we would be staying there. Which ended up being kind of great because we walked a lot of Brooklyn. At several points during our stay people asked us directions like we were locals. And we knew the answers!
We made our way over to Manhattan and I was navigating the subway for the first time myself. I felt like such a cool kid! This was my first time in the city with no parents or teachers. It was weird to think a NYC vacation for us was a typical day for its citizens.
We spent more time wandering through the Burroughs, making our way through NoHo, SoHo, Little Italy, etc etc. Our first day was spent walking and making mental maps. I could walk New York’s streets forever, because even when it should just be a sidewalk there’s always something going on.
Shops, and food, and best of all, people. Every kind of person you ever could meet, you can find in New York City. There’s so much story to every walk-up, every person has two (plus) lifetimes, and things happen there. Constantly. The air is full of possibility.
Obviously, I’m still in love with New York. I always saw myself ending up here, and with the way things are headed in my life… I still might!
The world is mine for the choosing, and just in the past few months I’ve learned how resilient I can be. How I can make things work out by force of will. And how I just need to keep opening my life to whatever opportunities pop up.