Sunset, skyline, sports cars surging in the Empire State of Mind. This is fall in New York.
Busy schedule and lack of motivation prevented me from even considering blogging. Yet the memory of this stunning city of America is no less fresh now than almost two months ago.
Exciting, vibrant and beautiful, New York embodies the best of big city life. From the energetic Time Square that never sleeps, to the seaside park under the famous Brooklyn Bridge, not to forget the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, still standing tall in the fall of our era. New York is a city of history, a fountain of wealth, a hub for new ideas and the classic site of capitalism.
Ironically, the dazzling site of New York is perhaps best viewed from the outside. When entering New York, while we were still in New Jersey, the skyline of New York was perfectly displayed in front of the setting sun, leading a bunch of fools (me and my friends) to believe that we have arrived already, and played Empire State of Mind out loud on the highway. Only when we ran out of gas and were forced to stop by a gas station did we find out our actual location – an hour away, in Jersey.
After a freezing night in the car, we headed towards central NYC. There, the feeling of getting a cup of coffee, joining the crowd of students and workers among other New Yorkers on the Metro was just wonderful beyond description. It resembles London, it reminds me of Hong Kong. But it is not the same. Small communities with buildings of red bricks, corner shops everywhere, with the metro station just above or beneath you… I would have believed it had anyone told me I was in a movie.
Brooklyn is a place of mixed reputations (from what I heard beforehand). Good because of the famous Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, and its identity as a hub for artists from around the world. Bad because of its long standing problem of security and poverty. From what I saw, Brooklyn is the backyard of New York, consisting of both the best and worst of New York. Brooklyn suffers from what a big city does, messy streets filled with idled youngsters. But Brooklyn has what Manhattan lacks – a space for anything other than finance, big businesses among other money making mechanism – art is absent. That is why Brooklyn is special, and will always be so.
All in all, visiting New York was an incredible experience. New York, the jewel of the East Coast, shines and reflects the sunlight to the Atlantic stripe of the USA. It shows the best, and the worst of our postmodern capitalist world. From the Fifth Avenue to downtown Brooklyn, I see marks of history everywhere, everywhere. And I see the people who are making history and cultural in this city, people who are proud, and will remain proud, of what they have.
In Washington State right now. More to come.
*Note: this is only what I got from my first visit, a simple impression of the city, so some of the things I said might seem a little shallow to New Yorkers. Hopefully I’ll get to know the city better = visit again. And again. And again. 😀