Monday, February 21, 2011

Farewell, New York

I spent ten golden days in New York. It has been indeed a phenomenal place to be in. For some unexplained reason I felt attached to this city and it was quite emotional to spend the last night and eventually to pack my bags again and leave. 
I must say that however the compensations New York has to offer it is still not perfect. For one thing, its streets are filled with hardships which is always not a good sign. Beggars and homeless people are simply everywhere and particularly at nightfalls you can hardly walk down a street without being asked if 'you've got a dollar'. And there are always these horrible tourists (such as myself) who would subliminally take their cameras out to 'document this phenomenon' to find that the powerless beggar or homeless had raised his hand to cover his face so as protect his privacy.
Also, the rhythm of life in the city is so hurried. People walk so fast for their destinations and they are always late. It seems that people have no time at all to stop, draw breath and ponder about what they are doing and why. Because of this it seems only natural that while walking down a street to get across the path of a huge, dark, bearded stranger and to mistakingly hit him and for him to shout at you 'come on!' as if this is the last thing he was expecting to happen to him this day, as if being alive was not hard enough.
And, walking through Times Square during the night for the first time, magnificent as it may seem, might just as well make you feel uneasy. Changing advertisements in all colours, passing news updates, flashes of light from all directions; my mind was too slow to decide where to look even after I visited the place for the fourth time. Indeed, capitalism at its peak.

So why did I feel emotional when leaving the city? Why the last night in New York seemed like the final night of a period that would never come again? Well, I think it's because New York might be also the only place in the world in which a group of five people will enter the subway train like all the other passengers and when surprisingly they find that the people in the train car are friendly enough they will take their musical instruments out of their bags and begin to play and sing for the passengers, revealing that they are actual musicians. I was lucky enough to have sat in that underground train heading back to my hotel, and when the train eventually halted in the 96th Street Station, I got off it, onto the platform. The doors of the train closed and I could no longer hear the serenade which was still going inside. The train took off, leaving me standing on the platform, as if I have just been spitted out of a fabulous dream.
Farewell, New York. I am sure we will meet again sometime.

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