Oh god, it’s SUCH a cliche, but this city gets under your skin. In a way I’m not quite sure how to explain.
I have never forgotten it since I went this time three years ago. June 25, 2010, we headed first to LA, Vegas, and Vancouver on our way to New York City and then Washington, DC. While I remember the other places fondly from time to time (particularly DC), it’s New York that seems to have embedded itself into my psyche. We were only there for three days but I feel an almost daily physical pull to go back.
Currently my brother and sister in law are there (as is my buddy Caitlin Mother Down Under) and their photos are slaying me. I need to go back and I need to go NOW.
Sure, the whole of Manhattan smells like sewage and you almost get killed every single time you cross the road (even at a crosswalk), but the energy, the buildings, the people, the food and the atmosphere totally outweigh the bad things. I only saw the smallest portion of what that great city has to offer, but it was enough to hook me for life. Everything looked just like it does in the movies and I so badly wanted to sit on a stoop and drink a 40 in the afternoon sun. I ate a lot of bagels (and came home to make them myself), drank a lot of coffee and did a lot of walking. We saw screeching cop cars, wailing fire engines and homeless people aplenty. We ate huge slices of cheese pizza, tipped our waiters, and lolled about on the grass in Central Park.
I nerded out BIG TIME in both the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Public Library. We went to the very tippy-top of the Empire State Building and we sailed on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty.
We walked from Battery Park all the way up Broadway and Avenue of the Americas. We saw Wall Street, and Grand Central Station, and hung out in Tompkins Square Park like a proper couple of punks. I still want to live in the East Village.
New York City was on my mind in the weeks after I had Abby. It had been nine months since we had been there, and we were already planning other trips. Once I had the baby, though, I realised how far away another overseas holiday would be. Hell, any holiday. Newborns are relentless and all-consuming and for the briefest of moments when I was full to the brim with baby blues, I wondered if I had made the right decision to have a baby at that point in my life. Once I had one baby I was going to have another, which pushed travel even further back and that pained me greatly. Partly because I had a list as long as my arm of places I wanted to go, and partly because hormones had made me feel awful. Thankfully they passed pretty quickly and the blunt-force shock of the reality of having a baby softened and I realised my dream of travelling the world with my babies was actually going to be easier than I imagined. Mostly because they grow out of that newborn stage VERY quickly! It was actually the perfect time in my life to have a baby, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Anyway, I needn’t have worried, as we took our next overseas trip just nine months later. And another one the year after that, back in April. Baby blues, you suck big time! They tell you big, fat lies.
So New York is in my blood, in my subconscious, and in my future. What about you? Is there a place you just can’t shake?