I fell in love with New York, not as a wide eyed teenager but into my twenties after I had established a career. It’s not that I hadn’t been to New York before but on this short holiday I realised that despite having traveled all over the world, there were more adventures to be had in this city full of big dreams and endless possibilities. So I stayed. Not for long but much longer than I had intended.
I could talk about the dozens of little love stories I’ve scattered around the city but those stories are probably best saved for another time and place.
When I left, the places, the people, the textures, the flavours and scents were seared into my memory… I don’t think I ever completely shook it off. But as life has it, time passes and the vibrant life I had just seemed to fade into an ephemeral memory.
I returned this year, four years after my departure and the city still hadn’t lost its charm because every little corner you go, you see a love story in the making; little romances as subtle as they are, charges the city.
I saw it this time around in the banter of my friends who are now married with children. Between bites and telling their kids to stop playing with their food, they had time to joke around about how much they cared about each other (“I $30 main course love you but not $50 main course love you so order accordingly.”). How lovers in the East Village nuzzled each other at rooftop parties on the Fourth of July and how stranger’s eyes would meet at terraces at fancy hotels and for that split second it would be electric.
Despite technology paving the way for a lot of interactions these days, there is magic in these human to human encounters and New York embraces it.
Perhaps I’ve idealised New York in my head but this city will always have a special place in my heart. I hope the next time I go, I’ll be able to stay forever.