The pedestrians spread across the intersection like a mass of balloons dropped on a tiny gymnasium floor. It was 8:30 a.m. when we stepped out of our Uber in Midtown Manhattan, and we had spent our first, post-LaGuardia hour creeping through the a.m. rush. But, really, how else should you interject yourself into a truly massive city? Welcome to NYC.
Our early arrival plus the permitted super-early check in (thanks, Radisson Martinique) bounced us out upon our concrete adventure with two full, and unseasonably warm, days to fill. We visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on Day 1, with the incredible Freedom Tower looking over us. The constant, hushed waterfalls flowing into each building site whispered of life’s continuity in a place where so many worlds – each etched by name around the north and south tower perimeters – ended tragically. Within the museum, those unforgettable videos, photographs, and personal messages and accounts surround visitors, as do twisted beams, crushed firetruck, and innumerable personal belongings and their respective stories. It is a somber yet necessary and rounded account of a truly terrible day.
The city went on as of course it would, and so did we. I caught up with with a good friend in Koreatown surrounded by glowing pitchers of beer and Korean fried chicken. We visited the Museum of Modern Art, which is absolutely worth a visit and as enjoyable as any museum I’ve had the good fortune to visit. Dali, Van Gogh, and Monet are the deserving, famous names, but this building is full of unexpected and interesting pieces, and includes a floor dedicated to the history of our favorite fashions (think hoodies, Converse shoes, and the fleece jacket). Our last night in NYC peaked at MSG, where I grew hoarse singing along with The Killers.
I live in a very small city. I used to live in a bigger-than-small-city. Each are dwarfed by this sleepless city, whose size is indescribable whether viewing the Manhattan skyline from a distance, or while staring out an airplane window, when departing, at the endless civilization below. The great size of this city means endless opportunities for every form of entertainment, or cuisine, or art, or whatever it is you love. Maybe it means that tragedies could be larger, too, but this city also outsizes fear. Until next time, NYC…
…..off to Miami we went!