Until this weekend, I’d never been to New York City, but thanks to movies, television shows, books, and music, I could picture it: the endless stretch of gleaming skyscrapers, the throngs of people on the sidewalks, the streets clogged with honking taxis, the rush and rumble of subway trains.
My imagination helped me get close to the real thing, but I had no sense of which neighborhoods were where, or how it actually felt to walk through the sensory overload of Times Square, eat dim sum in Chinatown, or squeeze onto a train at rush hour.
My college buddy and I visited another college friend, who’s lived in NYC for the past three years. While she worked, we hit the major tourist spots like Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, and the World Trade Center site. When she was off, we slurped local oysters, drank beer in hipster hangouts in Brooklyn, napped in Prospect Park, and wandered through various neighborhoods.
Experiencing life in NYC for a few days made me thankful to come home to quieter Seattle, despite our recent rain and increasingly gloomy days. And now New York is both a memory of all that we saw and did, and a glimmer of my imagination — there’s still so much we missed.