Before writing about my sudden trip to New York, let me build a context for the “sudden” element here. I planned my first ever trip to USA starting from one of the most beautiful states of Oregon (for a girl who is in love with waterfalls since ever). Somehow, all of a sudden my companion to be in Oregon and one of my very good friends had to visit our home country for some urgent family business. I had a choice, either to continue with my travel plan and be in Portland before my friend even comes back or to change the tickets altogether. I am a sentimental person when it comes to friends, I had to see my friend and make my time the best of it while in Oregon. So conveniently, I convinced myself to change the itinerary and choose another state or city to start my trip. I would always prefer being Solo in a place with no friends than being Solo in a place where I could have my friends around.
In order to change the itinerary I had to pay the cost for cancellation and here came the budget constraint. To my surprise, or the ignorance earlier to be precise, I realized the round tickets to NYC from Perth were the cheapest of all and I managed to get a round ticket for the same money I had paid earlier minus all the cancellations. Further to my delight, my partner would also join me in NYC. Now! the Dilemma, just a week before my travel starts I got to know I was going to New York instead of Portland. How would I make all the plans?
But wait… was it a problem at all or a blessing in disguise? What kind of planning you would need a head while visiting the most bustling city of the world.
New York is definitely one of the places on the earth where you have been living virtually for all of your lives even being thousand miles away if you are a TV & Film geek like myself. Even before going to any travel recommendation guides, I knew I was going to stay in Manhattan. I knew I would be strolling through the fifth avenue amidst all the glitter and shine. I knew I was going to struggle hard to get a table for breakfast at Tiffany’s, although, I was unable to get that being such a short notice, but the effort in itself had a euphoric feel to it. I knew I was going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and relive all the scenes I could recall from all the movies that I had watched. I knew I would explore the cobblestoned streets of DUMBO and would sit in the middle of nowhere to get the perfect shots capturing both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges from the streets of Brooklyn. I knew I was going to block all the distractions of rushed life around me with that serene afternoon walk in world’s most filmed location, the central park. I knew I would be lurking on the deck of one of the skyscrapers to get a perfect peep of the world’s most famous building (Empire State Building). I knew I had to find a Broadway, for, what would be a trip to NYC without living a night with the stars who shine in the world. And last but not the least, I knew I would look for one of the oldest buildings standing in the city and admire its grandeur for all the history it had lived and become a part of it.
How convenient it was for me to visit NYC for a weekend on a weeks notice and still being able to do all that I was expecting. But, this is not what actually charmed me during my short visit to the most amazing metropolis that I had ever visited. What enchanted me most were the feelings I experienced while in transit for moving from here and there for my bucket list items. I for sure didn’t know how overwhelming the whole experience would be starting from the moment I stepped in the transit train from JFK airport to the Jamaica. The squeaking sound of the old train, the pungent air, gushing sounds of masses of people getting in and out at every station and well the ticket checker! the ticket checker with a hole punch in his hand. It was, as if I was transported to another era. An era in which I grew up and had left behind but only in memories. And then I was on the streets of Manhattan. So adamant I was, to not take a taxi, for I was living another world. While passing by the manholes with stream pumping out of them, with the sound of my luggage being dragged on the busy sidewalks of Manhattan, with the smell of the air coming out of the dark alleys after innocent encounters with the stacks of black trash bags piled endlessly across the streets, I realized the moment of truth, I was in Manhattan New York after all. I stopped walking all of a sudden looking at the manhole so intensely. My partner asked me what happened? I went like, for a moment I imagined a turtle coming out of this manhole. Was I going crazy already, this was just my first night in NYC. From that moment onwards, he would call me the girl who knew nothing about NYC but from the movies. Before that, I didn’t know how I would be swirling around the times square without realizing the difference of day or night. From where I was standing, it seemed to be a lively day all the times. I had not known, how I would be rushing from one side of the road to another making all the cars go crazy honking while myself drooling in pursuit of the famous street food carts of NYC. How I would try to make a queue in one of the busiest McDonalds of Manhattan after midnight and would be waiting for my turn to get a coffee forever!!! as there won’t be any queue working and how victorious I would feel eventually for getting that cup in my hand. How would I have known the excitement for hopping from one theatre to another in that rushed pace literally chasing my partner, trying to get the Broadway tickets just 30 minutes before the show starts on a Saturday night. And that feeling! when we actually had two tickets in our hands. The pleasure of crossing the Columbus Circle passing through the biggest procession that I had ever seen, in an attempt to get that perfect romantic afternoon winter walk in the central park. And what would I have known about the run & chase games I had to put up with, in 100s of attempts to get a perfect spot on the top of the Rock to view the Empire State Building shining in all its glory. For all I wanted to do in the end was just to stand closest to the wall all the time, taking in all, that was there offered by the most beautiful cityscape ever.
The feelings I could have never known until I visited.