New York surprised me. I went not really expecting to like it. Sure there’s loads of stuff to do there but, like London, just living there takes a toll on you; stress-wise if no other way.
What I found was a very gentle, delightful city. A city full of surprises of green parks and promenades and street performers. Of teenagers doing impromptu dances to entertain subway travellers and earn a dollar.
I don’t doubt that there is a city within a city; a shadow side that is visible to those who choose to see it. But I personally felt no shade of that menace.
What I did see was pretty much every ethnic group I can recall, and I suspect to them that the New York they see is different and unique to their group. A Chinese megacity, an Irish megalopolis, even a Muslim backwater.
I think New York is what you make it. It supplies the resources, you supply the imagination and build yourself a city.
My city has parks and museums and art galleries you literally can lose yourself in. It has great food of every kind and music and poetry and a dry humour.
Sure I only visited a small portion (Manhattan’s 5th avenue, Central Park, Brooklyn Height and Queens) but it was a decent cross-section. Could I live here?
Well unlike London – which is a place I like to visit and love to leave – yes, I think I could. But then of course, my New York, wouldn’t be your New York.