The first impression was not too good.
New York City looked snooty and snobbish.
The surly burly officers behind the immigration counters, looked unfriendly and over fed.
The cops loitering around in the airport confirmed their Hollywood image-sakes. Burger in one hand and the other under the belt. Or coffee cups and endless stare.
The icy wind outside and the January sleet did nothing much to encourage our dark impression about the place
Out hotel though was a great find, smack in the middle of 8th Avenue with a pizza place, and a Chipotle place right across the road. The lane next to the pizza place took one to the Broadway (not our cup of tea) and to Times Square (very much our cup of tea).
We started from Dubai at 3 in the evening and by 7 in the evening New York time, we were at our hotel in the 8th Avenue. Times Zones, I say….ohhhh!
Though the chill reached our bones, we dared for a night-walk through the Broadway lanes to the Times Square. Come night, come day, come winter, come summer the brightly lit-up signage at this Square don’t relax. We learnt that come Jonas or Blizzard or snow storm of any level too, the sign boards shine brightly as always! Some crazy level positive vibes this place exudes.
So we stood there, mildly jet-lagged and full of awe starting at the giant bill boards and brightly lit hoardings. And it was crowded. The ubiquitous NYPD jeeps were a reassuring sight for once. We even took a selfie with an NYPD cop. But our hands were shaking so much, the result was an image that looked like a selfie of a light orb with another light orb with NYPD emblazoned on it.
We had turmeric latte at the Starbucks which unsurprisingly was crowded at that hour closer to midnight. But of course, who am I kidding…Hallo, New York…where the city hardly sleeps…at least the eateries and cafes don’t….
Within a few hours of landing in this city, we knew our way in and out to many places near our hotel. That is the beauty of this place – the easy yet invisible grid layout that make navigation so much easier. The main avenues and streets like 5th 6th and the 8th which, due to their proximity shopping places, theaters and Central Park are crowded most of the time. But if you hop into a bus and head to the Financial District and walk towards Washington village or the China town and Pier 16, there is a kind of a quiet with a simple charm that you would most certainly like.
The quay or rather the landing behind Brookfield place near One Memorial is a beautiful waterfront where you could spend some time just relaxing at one of the wooden seats, conveniently provided. You can see the distant Statue of Liberty and the many boats powering their way to the Ellis Island across the Hudson river.
Within a day, we fell head over heels in love with this city! So much so, when Jonas spread a wave of knee-deep snow across the state, and our flights were cancelled, I couldn’t contain my glee!