What determines whether you like a city or you don’t? I have no idea. I’ve been on the road 6 weeks, and seen about as many cities, but I still can’t put into words why I feel the way I do about a place. Often I don’t even realise I feel anyway about somewhere until after I’m gone. I thought I had a ball in LA, but after leaving I realised I hated it there. It’s strange. But it’s even more strange how much I love New York.
I feel really alive here. I feel like I could live here. I feel at home and not at home at the same time. And I can’t really explain why. A woman asked me the other day what I thought about NY compared to the rest of America that I’d seen and I told her it was a million times better but I couldn’t explain why. I guess that made me look kind of stupid considering I also told her I wanted to be a writer.
Some guys in the dorm were talking last night about what makes a good travel experience. The consensus was that any place on earth could be great one week or awful the next, and that it all depends on the people you’re with and the people you meet. Everything about an experience will boil down to the people involved. Normally I would agree with this. The people around me made my experience in New Orleans awesome. The people around me in Miami made it shit. But that theory just isn’t stacking up for me here in New York city.
Here’s why. I’m avoiding everyone. I haven’t made any friends here. I’m not trying to. I’m avoiding everyone, especially other Australians (shudder). And yet, I’m enjoying this city at least 10 times more than the rest I’ve visited.
I definitely need a new city theory.
All I can come up with though is gut instinct. I don’t know what it is I love about this place, but the important thing is that I feel it. And I feel it. Just seeing the city as I flew into LaGuardia had my heart pumping. Seeing the Statue of Liberty today sent a charge through me, and seeing the skyline, sans the WTC makes me feel hollow inside. Tears welled up in my eyes at Strawberry Fields. Seeing the buildings, the streets, the incredible diversity makes me smile inside every day.
I ❤ NY