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I HEART NYC
...not just for the t-shirt
So it appears that there is some sort of baffling mass mental block that prevents the general public from verbalising just what it is that they love about New York City. Among the insipid responses, references to Times Square and cliché notions of hustle and bustle, I wonder why they can't get past this? Did they not see and feel the real New York? But it is tangible, this amazing atmosphere and style- it is everywhere! And yes, it is a little enigmatic, but it is also far too exciting and unique not to attempt to explain and do justice to.
New York is known for its enormity, its limitless nature; its nicknamed the Big Apple for crying out loud. So maybe it’s actually the very nature of the city that makes it hard for people to synthesise why they feel such love for a big dirty city. Maybe it’s just so big, and there is just so much happening, that it’s just overwhelming. There are so many things to distract you, as lights flash, and yellow cabs whizz by, as people rush past you, shops, bars, music, fashion, galleries and museums call.
Maybe I shouldn’t blame you all for not being able to quite work it out, in the face of all this beautiful ‘adversity’. Maybe it’s just that all the flashing lights, have made it hard for you to see, maybe all the noise and people, things to do and be, have rendered you senseless after this bombardment. Maybe in you are still stumbling through the East Village, looking like a drunken homeless person, trying to figure it all out, dizzy with disbelief and wonder.
And since none of you can seem to put it into words, and since I have regained use of my senses, due to my untimely return home, and despite wishing I were still stumbling through the Village, I have decided to tell you.
This is what is it is about NYC. This is why we keep going back there, because:
It’s a city of redemption, when the American dream seems all but lost.
It's the feeling that anything is possible there. (And the knowledge that this is probably true).
It's the blissful anonymity of the big city. Seeing new faces everyday.
It's knowing that anyone can belong there, no matter who they are, no matter their past. It is the original melting pot. (Excuse the cliché!)
It's a symbol of hope.
It's the way you feel when you are there, like you are really part of the world. At the forefront of life, up there with the leaders.
It's knowing that you can get anything you could possibly ever want, at any time of the day or night.
It's the sense of history. The abundance of art. The way beautiful Art Deco architecture can sit alongside an abandoned industrial building ready for demolition/squatters.
It's the place people go to follow their dreams.
It's the way there is always something new going on, always something to do – a new bar opening, a concept restaurant, a gig of the most exciting underground up-and-coming band, an exhibition, a festival.
It's the way NYC feels as though it could be a nation-state, so independent, so different to the rest of America. A separate entity, a culture of it's own completely.
It's the way the mega rich and the poorest of poor walk the same streets.
It’s the way it inspires. The way it breeds talent, the raw energy.
It's the lights and the sounds. Knowing that you're never truly alone.
It’s the way everyone looks how they want to, no apologies. It’s the street fashion, the high fashion. It’s the way the average person can walk into Saks 5th Ave, and experience the wonder, breath in the perfume of luxury leather goods, and command the attention of snooty sales assistants.
It's the way New Yorkers are secretly friendly.
It's the miracle that is the metro.
It's the beauty of the grime and the grunge of the city.
And most of all it's the place where we all want to fall in love...