“That was New York; a whole cacophony of sounds and tastes that all somehow came together to form something beautiful”
― Aishabella Sheikh, Jungle Princess
I took some time without writing anything, but I’m back and as I’m writing this, I still think it was just a dream. For one day, and only one day, I experienced the big city lights of New York City.
After a bus ride of six hours, we came to Chinatown. 6:30 a.m., still dark and asleep, but only for a moment. With breakfast bagels in “Katz’s Delicates” and a sunrise behind the skyscrapers, New York presented us its beauty and noise. Yellow cabs rushing by, steaming streets and stressed out New Yorkers with a short “excuse me” pushing us to the side, and still I was in love with it.
A windy visit at the 9/11 memorial, which captures the tragedy that happened 16 years ago with black stone and a waterfall, that was partly frozen as we got there. Freezing this moment and leaving everyone there in silence. Then we searched our way to the Brooklyn Bridge, frozen ground and a hint of snow on the side, made me literally fall over and experiencing the hundreds of people from a ground perspective (thanks to the frozen ground…).
But what’s a visit in New York City in winter, without ice skating in Central Park? With cold feet and red cheeks, we enjoyed a white Central Park. Everyone was wrapped into big coats and scarves, forming the first snowballs or just walking calmly in the cold air. I couldn’t believe my eyes and didn’t even realize that I am here. So back to ice skating, we took our way to the ice skating rink (for 28$ per person!) and skated through the crowd, having our heads up with a view on all the immense towers.
Something that made me think of Switzerland was the Christmas markets, in Central and Bryant Park. We found hot chocolate, small clothing brands and even “Raclette”, a traditional dish from Switzerland in the small stands of the market, leaving us with the smell of Christmas.
Because it’s the middle of December, the sunlight went away around 4p.m. and we decided to take our journey to the lights. Next to Macy’s window, that showed us (and what felt like another million people) the story of Disney’s Snow White and across the street the well-known Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Unfortunately we never went closer because we thought that we would be runover by the mass of people surrounding the tree.
The lights of New York? Of course there was a bunch of Christmas decoration in every corner, but there’s no New York without Times Square. Lighting up the whole area and our European hearts as soon as we were surrounded by all the blinking billboards, we walked around, took our pictures and finally rested a little bit in a coffeeshop, some streets down.
Ending this long day was sad, because I had no intentions to leave. How perfect would it be, to just wake up again and be surrounded by the (not so fresh) New York air? Living between the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and even enjoying taking a dirty subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I went to New York for the third time now, and I am sure that I will always return. This city took my Swiss heart and won’t give it back.