My love for New York City knows no bounds.

It is such a strong love that I wonder if it will ever fade and I will tire of constantly dreaming of this crazy, harsh metropolis. If I will one day announce that somewhere else is to be my favourite place on earth and I will want to visit that new city or country. That I will want to work there and maybe some day live there. I doubt it. New York City is my one true love and has been for as long as I can remember.

I counted that come 28th December this year I will have been to stay in NYC twelve times. The reason I’ve been there so many times is because each visit is different. There is always something new to discover. I could visit every year for the rest of my life {and believe me I hope to!} and still find something new each time I venture out to explore. Like a typical millennial {which recently I, statistically, found out I am!?} I can confidently say that I am the very best version of myself when I am there.  I am living my best life. When Sister With Massive Laugh was on Broadway for the first time I went with my parents and in the taxi from JFK my Mother nailed it. She said she believed her love of the city came from the instant familiarity of it. It’s a city we have all grown up seeing on film and feel we know even if we’ve never been there. The Empire State building, The Chrysler Building, Times Square,  Central Park, Park Avenue, Grand Central Terminal, The Rockefeller centre ~ These recognisable landmarks have all been staple backdrops in movies ever since I remember watching them. Who can forget Mike Dundee climbing over commuters down in the subway at the end of Crocodile Dundee? Or Melanie Griffith riding the Staten Island ferry to Manhattan at the beginning of Working Girl? There’s Tom Hanks playing the piano at FAO Schwartz in Big, Macaulay Culkin running round Central Park in Home Alone 2 and, of course, the Sex and the City girls who always said that New York was the fifth character in their show.

But it’s not just the movie like qualities of the city that I love. It’s the architecture, the pace and the history. As much as President T**** would like to ignore the fact The United States is made up of immigrants and their gateway into Northern America, all those years ago, was through New York. To leave your country, family and everything you know, to head somewhere where you didn’t speak the language but had heard there was work takes a ballsy kinda person. And that’s what I believe New York is full of. It’s full of balls. The type of people I encounter there work hard and play even harder. They are driven and focussed and have a need to succeed in this world. Like a lot of big cities New York can chew you up and spit you out should you take your foot off the fast paced treadmill that is surviving there. But if you’re fit enough to keep on running then the Island of Manhattan, and it’s surrounding boroughs, are your oysters.

Keep your eyes open when you walk the streets of New York there’s so much to take in. Look up for stunning architecture, look around for open and friendly people willing to help you and look down for random art work and occasional dog shit. Visit galleries and museums for eclectic, fantastic art and relatively recent history. Join a free tour for random information on old and new Soho, rapidly growing Chinatown and sadly shrinking Little Italy. Climb to the Top of the Rock to see the Empire State Building during the day then climb the Empire State Building at the latest possible time of night to see the city alight. Visit Rockefeller centre, Ellis Island Museum, explore Brooklyn, take a ferry, eat, drink, party…..The list goes on and on and on and I am far from ever completing it.

The City that never sleeps provides me with a window of opportunity to be any one I want to be, to learn, to love, to dream and to discover. She can be the most exciting place to be as well as the most depressing. I spent my 30th birthday there staying in a shitty motel with a shared bathroom. I walked, heartbroken, around Times Square in a snow storm. I slept through Hurricane Sandy. I learnt how to become a Camp counsellor at Columbia University. I will start the next decade of my life there. The mix of emotions that come with visiting New York are, what I believe, being present is all about. It’s what makes life exciting and who doesn’t want that?

New York, you wonderful, eclectic, cruel, beautiful beast. I love you and always will.


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