New York: The American Dream in Progress

There’s something to be said about both wandering and staying too long in a single place. Neither are good for your health, but without them in variation, tediousness and emotional exhaustion will set in. This is more than deadly to the spirit.

I have returned from a four day trip to New York City, and my first experience in the city that never sleeps. I have decided that you can read as much as you want, watch all the films, know all the streets before you go, and you will always be wrong, it will ALWAYS feel different than you expect it to. This is not particularly a bad thing but it just says something about how much prep is too much. My inherently horrible sense of natural direction may also have had something to do with this.

The City itself felt smaller to me than the rest of the world makes it out to be. We walked from here to there about a thousand times, and I could have walked forever in that city, but it didn’t feel as spatially grand as the swooping cityscapes make it out to be. There are lots of people, in this limited space and it makes for very interesting people watching if you can hold them in your sight long enough.

Times Square is a bit too much for me, and if I don’t go back it won’t be the end of the world. The villages and residential areas of the upper west side and Greenwich were lovely if you ignore the price tag, and I’ll have to say Central Park was by far my favourite part of the trip. Green, crisp, social, natural, with a dash of city off in the distance. An Oasis if I’ve ever seen one.

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We braved the lines and got tickets to an Off-Broadway show that was perfectly enjoyable and an unexpected slice of celebrity. (I also think I might have secretly seen Zachary Quinto walking a couple of dogs in Washington Park, or perhaps his stunt double. Either way I feel the chance encounter of celebrity in this small and people filled place is much like a page of Where’s Waldo. they’re always there somewhere, you just have to have an eye for them.)

After it is all said and done, I can say I’ve been there. A different world, as only a visitor. A place where everyone is waiting for their moment, singing in the streets, flaunting every asset at a moment’s notice. Hurrying from one shattered dream to the next. It’s a place of the now, not a place of ‘a moment ago’ and one’s head will spin if an attempt is made to keep up.

As an individual pathologically afraid of failure, the reality of the city itself scared me. There’s just too much to take in, so all of that classic genius is passed over for something more novel, not necessarily as good.

New York, to me, is like a gorgeous designer ensemble on a milky white runway under the bright lights. It is wonderful all on its’ own; dynamic, flashy, loud, I can want it, I can admire it, salute the people involved in its’ creation and execution, but it will never fit me. I much prefer my black turtleneck; however classic, however much it represents perhaps more than ‘a moment ago’, it will always be mine and it will always fit who I am. It is what I am, and will be what I want to continue to be.

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-Miss Hailey Jane

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