“New York is the quietest city I know.
Only amongst a million beating hearts
could you still hear
the cigarette burn on a balcony in Brooklyn.”
For the longest time, I dreamed of moving to New York to become a writer. I could see it so clearly in my mind: I’d live in a tiny studio apartment with huge windows and exposed brick, I’d have a desk set up in front of one of those large windows, and I’d be writing furiously on some new novel with a cup of lukewarm coffee as hand. There was a massive bookshelf laden with books, I have a coffee shop I frequented every morning (and afternoon, and evening), I’d stroll along 5th, Park, and Madison gazing through shop windows, I’d have a Cat named Cat, I’d spend my afternoons at the MET, and my evenings watching shows on Broadway. I’d be swept away by the crowds and lights in Time Square, go ice skating around the giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, I’d ride the subway or take a taxi home if I wasn’t up for the crowds, I’d have breakfast at Tiffany’s Blue Box Cafe. And then I woke up and grew up.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely still have these dreams on a fairly regular basis, but I also realized that it wasn’t exactly a feasible plan- which is okay! I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, I’m not a Vanderbilt, and I’m certainly no Rockefeller. But childhood Allie didn’t really realize that living in New York and writing books wasn’t a financially feasible dream. However, as an adult, I was determined to at least do half the things on my list- and I finally got to back in September 2018!
When my plane touched down in La Guardia, I nearly stopped breathing, and I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. I held my breath the whole taxi ride from LGA to a tiny Airbnb in the Upper East Side and didn’t breathe again until my suitcase and I were settled into the Airbnb. After a quick change of clothes and freshen up in the bathroom, I set to the streets of New York City like a giddy child. I spent the weekend making my childhood self proud: I spent hours at the MET, I saw my first show on Broadway (opted for Phantom of the Opera, but I’m sure child-me would have seen the Lion King), I rode to the Top of the Rock (couldn’t exactly ice skate in September, sorry kid) for stunning views, I took a carriage ride through Central Park at sunset, I wandered aimlessly through the Strand, I took both subway and taxis, and I wrote furiously.
New York City sparked a creative bone and curiosity in me I always knew it would; I had found a city so akin to the definition of home, I felt like I was on fire. Just four days in this city brought on a feeling I had only ever felt while in London, England. They are sister cities in my heart; I have left such large pieces of myself in each city, I know they will always leave me wanting more. The weekend in the City of Dreams was like a summer love affair: short and sweet, but so strong I will always remember it. I will always be craving for more. More time.
This is a city where fools and dreamers come to feel alive and inspired, and I finally got my chance to do the same. Is it possible to have a love affair with a city?
Thank you for tuning in for a rambling love letter to the City of Dreams! Is there anywhere in the world you have felt such a love affair with? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so pop a comment below!