The streets of Manhattan were a piece of art in themselves, lined with bright headlights of cars bumper to bumper along them. It was a stormy night in New York as we boarded our transfer to the Hi Hostel.
Everything felt completely surreal: the sirens of the city were deafening, the smells were overpowering and everything was moving 10 times faster then anywhere I had ever been before. My first impression, though, was conflicting. Firstly I could’t believe how big the city really was as pop culture has always portrayed it to me as this completely walkable district of colour and light.
Central Park happened to be the first iconic part of the city that I explored and it did not disappoint. The trees were a sea of greens, yellows and oranges and the ground was draped in a blanket of the multi-coloured leaves. It was also much bigger than I expected yet its beauty was truly captivating. Stepping into the park allowed me to feel as though I hadn’t yet entered the chaos of the city yet. More importantly it felt like a home a way from home.
As we exited the Park and entered Midtown, it was a completely new environment. The pace felt it though it tripled and it was this moment that I truly knew I was a million miles away from home. The energy of the city almost stuck you in the face and the creativity that displayed itself was undeniably mesmerising.
The cultural shift was more than the changing dynamic of cultural identity of the people. It was the music that began to fill the air – from buskers, to street entertainers to your average Joe confident enough to embrace in a duet with his friend as they crossed the road. It’s like nothing i have ever felt before.
More than this though, as daylight turned to darkness it was the lights. Seeing Times Square for the first time, is like nothing I have ever felt before. My research into Times Square didn’t even come close to preparing me for this feeling. A place so full of creativity that becoming disengaged is just not an option.