It is a cold, windy night; the stars are out to guide me. I don’t know where I’m going, but I still have a faint idea I do. How can you get lost in such a marvel of mankind. Walking on a gravelled path with the river rippling just beside my feet, completely in awe of a humongous span of concrete soaring above me, with the sound of a thousand motors whizzing in unison. Maybe this is what flying cars would feel like in the future. I continue on my path, completely wrapping myself up in wool. A gentle wind is blowing, bringing along with it the first few snowflakes of the season, and of my entire life. Before you know it, the lights seem brighter, the wind feels cooler, all the faces around me look happier; and I’m surrounded by my very own winter wonderland!
‘There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien
For many, New York City is the city that never sleeps, the place where you go to grind it out and do something with your life. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. All of the aforementioned is true, but among the rigour and within the battle, this place exudes a charm and makes you fall in love with it like no other. There are very few places on earth which can do that, but this is unlike anything else.
Not everyone can get this feeling, you need to earn it. Day in and day out you need to live it. From walking on a crowded street surrounded by buildings as tall as the eye can see, in complete awe of the scale and the feeling that this place is like no other; to taking a subway ride home over the Manhattan bridge in the evening, taking a step back from all the madness and watching the sun set over the picturesque skyline, drowning out the sounds of the city and adding that very moment to the list of ever-lasting experiences accrued over time in this unexplainable, unbelievable phenomenon.
But New York City is not a magical utopia. In fact, far from it, it is as dark and gritty and tough as anything can get. To survive in such a place requires a special kind of heart because it will beat you up and knock you down at every chance it gets. Not everyone can like or even survive this city, but for those who do, they claim to come out reinvented after this experience. The city shapes you as a person and instills qualities within you, worthy of its own high expectations. The place is excellent, and excellence is what it demands from its people, and once you’ve been bitten by the bug, no dream is too big, no idea is too small and you will be ready to take on the world.
This city will always be the place where I have grown up and rediscovered my childhood. It will always be responsible for me being the person I am today and my perpetual quest and appreciation of the exceptional and the extraordinary. It is difficult to describe how much this city means to me, but every single day, every single moment spent trotting about here has been life-changing and truly special. Treat it like an old friend, give it your time and your patience, your integrity and your appreciation, stick by it and its people, and in return you will be rewarded with memories to last an entire lifetime. I know I have.