Oh how I have a yearning to go travelling again and I’m putting it out there among the stars – Hear me now! Anyway, to placate myself, I thought I’d revise a post I did on my trip to New York. This is taking me back a few years but the memory is still fresh in my mind. I find it interesting how taxis typify a place. So I just loved the sight of these yellow cabs.
I had taken a flight from London to New York and this was my first experience of shifting timezones. Though I had already travelled over 16 hours, arriving in New York with the clock turned back by 6 hours, I was thrilled that I could hop on and off these taxis and pack in as many shopping hours as I could before our conference started. Yes it was at the Waldorf – I couldn’t afford to stay there otherwise.
It’s funny how we all assume that all Americans have been to New York – there are 52 states in the U.S. so there’s a great chance that many Americans have never been to New York. Similarly, I found shop assistants who were so thrilled to meet me and ask me if I knew what’s his face from Nigeria or the Congo – there are 54 countries in Africa and I’ve only been to 4 of them. Heck, even in my own country, many people live their whole lives never having been to another city or province – we have 9 provinces.
The first opportunity, I got, I snuck out during a break in our sessions and whizzed down Fifth avenue to get the best view of New York from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
It’s a very fast ride to get you to the top of the Empire State building which, much like the Eiffel Tower, gives you a 360 degree view of the city.
With such tall buildings and high density living, it is no wonder that this is considered to be the city that never sleeps.During the night, the sounds keep coming at you, the yawning and creaking of the tall buildings, the constant beep of the cabs, the rumble of elevators, the constant whistles of the doormen at all hours of the night, the garbage removal trucks cleaning the city at night- I was fascinated by it all.
Between the buildings you can see bits of central park below.
I have a tryst with a friend to meet up one day on the banks of the Hudson River based on a dream she had.
The Rockerfeller Centre
I remember watching the lady in the black coat spinning in the centre of the Ice Rink and she looked like my idea of freedom.
Walking down Fifth Avenue, I found myself standing next to Danny de Vito at the traffic light, for those who remember him – a famous movie star in his day.
The other attraction for me was visiting a Starbucks and watching the coffee culture of New York. The notion of “doing coffee” is still relatively new in these parts. Our very first Star Bucks franchise was opened last year and caused quite a stir.
I also loved how well dressed everyone was and seeing someone in real life dressed in a Wall Street suit walking with a cup of coffee and hot dog off the street vendor was an experience very different from our own. In my city our business districts are decentralised and we entertain and shop in localised shopping malls.
I still long to visit Times Square to see the new year in.
The highlight for a colleague and I, was getting tickets to the famous Blue Note Jazz club in Greenwich village which has played host to many famous Jazz musicians since it opened in 1981. It was also a novel experience to find ourselves sharing a table with strangers from four different continents and having fun with our collective awkwardness.
Of course one week of visiting this great city in my spare time was not enough to paint a complete picture so there has to be a next time. Someone told me that you could lose your heart in New York city so beware! 😀
I guess, this video covers what I couldn’t.