I left United Kingdom on the 24th April to go to New York and film a documentary with my university group. It’s safe to say it was the best experience of my life.
Here is part one!
Here is part 2!
Firstly, I would like to stress that this was my first time flying, and I was amazed by it! I had been warned by my friend that take off was perhaps the worst bit, but I wasn’t bothered by it at all. Maybe that’s because I was sat back listening to Pink Floyd whilst looking out the window. The whole seven hours were something I would never have imagined experiencing. I enjoyed and cherished it.
New York is pretty much how I imagined it…but it was also so much more than I imagined. When I left the station and arrived at Madison Square Garden for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the traffic, buildings and the scale of everything, but oddly, it didn’t seem different. I went through the whole week feeling like I belonged in New York. Everything, despite how different to the British culture, felt so natural. However, this was only Midtown, where I was welcomed by fumes, busy streets, litter, and a somewhat, “grey” feeling lingering over me. There were also people multi-tasking to the max! I saw a man crossing the road and continuing to walk whilst reading a novel. I saw a woman riding a pushbike with her head tilted enough to clasp her mobile phone between her head and her shoulder. I saw a skateboarder cruising through busy traffic. One night, I did wander around Times Square alone. Something I was advised not to do but did anyway. And I have to say, it really isn’t as bad as everyone makes out! Sure, keep your wits about you, keep your hands on your pockets, walk fast and if possible walk around people not through them. But I didn’t witness or experience any type of violence or mugging.
An Aerial Shot of Midtown.
I did venture down into Downtown and Uptown. What I loved about Downtown, the traffic of people and automobiles were far less and you could really just walk around the area and take it all in. It was cleaner too, and felt very warm as opposed to the gloomy, gritty feeling you get when you’re in Midtown. A place I went to Downtown was Ground Zero. In my vlog it clearly shows I had an emotional experience. I never would have expected the size to be so immense. The pictures didn’t seem that big at all. I’m on about the sheer width of it, I knew the height was going to be massive as it was a skyscraper, but the width just threw me off. I was glad to have experienced seeing it. However, my favorite area by a long shot, was Uptown and Central Park. Uptown, like Downtown was less busy then Midtown and looked so much cleaner and welcoming. And Central Park was just amazing to walk through. The greenness of the grass, the mountains of bedrock, the lovely little lakes, and the social culture occurring around me. I would happily live in Uptown. In fact, in Britain I don’t feel comfortable at all going out for a jog in my area. I’ve tried it before a few times and I always ended up running through a woodland because I just don’t feel comfortable, with Central Park though, I felt really comfortable, so comfortable that I had to hold myself back from actually jogging in my heavy clothes. It was just the perfect environment for me.
I also went to the American Museum of Natural History…eventually after being directed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art first. But, despite it looking nothing like how it did in, ”Night At The Museum” I still spent as long as I could looking through the exhibits and just enjoying myself. Sadly, I missed a few exhibits I think because the museum announced that it would be closing in the next ten minutes at 6pm, despite the fact that my ticket said it was valid until 8pm.
All in all, I visited a few more places and I am glad to have experienced New York in the way that I did, with friends and also alone. I would gladly love to go back to America, I now have a craving for it and I miss it already. I just don’t miss the jet lag that comes with it.
Maybe someday I’ll go back to America and experience another state.