When I was a kid, my family and I would travel into New York from suburban New Jersey only on very special occasions. Like when we saw the world premiere of the movie Annie on the big screen or the musical play Chicago on Broadway. My father used to make the daily bus commute into the city to work, so he was always less enthused than the rest of us about heading back in on a weekend. To us, New York was a vibrant, bustling place that, despite only living 45 mins away, was akin to the journey Dorothy took from Kansas to Oz. Making our way out of the Port Authority, the hum of the city, the people rushing to get where they were going, the bright neon lights and vivid yellow of the taxis was thrilling. This must be what every tourist who comes to our fair city for the first time must feel. But being a tourist and being a resident are vastly different things…..and different feelings.
After living here for over 10 years, the excitement had dulled. I’m one of the bustling people and the wide eyed tourists are now a nuisance. I avoid Times Square like the plague and Rockefeller Center…at Christmas…NO WAY!
But New York is so much more than tourists spots and iconic buildings. It’s full of culture and creativity.
It can be crowded yet lonely.
It can be vibrant and cold.
And most importantly, it can have a sense of humor.
Even though I grumble about the subway, the hordes of tourists, or the loud music blasting from suped up cars cruising the streets, when I come back after being away, that little kid in me still gets excited and can’t believe that New York is my home…and there’s no place I’d rather be.