Allow me to confirm suspicions, because every television writer seems to know this already. New York City is amazing. It’s a microcosm of brick-built society, rife with hole-in-the-wall restaurants and fruit stands, boasting a global population all crammed onto an island and overspilling the surrounding rivers.
Spolier alert: I fell in love with everything. If you hate New York City or know anything about the politics and hate it for deeper reasons, please disregard my opinion based on five hours of walking around aimlessly.
I’d never visited before, but a 9-hour layover at the Newark Airport called for nothing less than a jaunt into one of the greatest cities in the world.
Since it was my first visit after three stymied efforts, I had all the highlights mapped out and planned to rent a Citi Bike to get around. Silly me assumed a 30 minute ride from Penn Station to the Brooklyn Bridge was doable in a city I’d never visited.
Instead, I emerged from Penn Station completely overwhelmed and decided to wander, taking in the environment, eventually ending up on Broadway, then the Avenue of the Americas, Fifth Avenue and Madison Ave.
I walked through the New York Public Library and took a selfie with the lions. I ate two huge slices of pizza. I investigated St. Patrick’s, St. Thomas and a couple other ornate churches that would seem behemoths in a normal-sized town but here were undergrowth in a skyscraper forest.
In short, I missed the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. I did walk at least 30 blocks of 2nd Avenue, staring up at the buildings — each one taller than the last — a definite country mouse astounded by a city.
By the time my feet ached and I just wanted to get back to the airport to collect my luggage and hop on the next plane, I knew New York City had landed a spot on my need-to-live-there list.
There’s some competition, if the discussion in my fiction workshops in high school and college are to be trusted. Every writer seems to dream about living in the city at some point in their lives. And now that I’ve seen it, I understand.
I’m all aboard this bandwagon.