Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There's nothing like the moment you catch sight of New York City's skyline.  Maybe it's just me, but I immediately stop blinking and the air is sucked from my lungs.  I imagine it's the way some people feel when they crest a mountain to find the snow-capped summit, or turn a corner to find the Sphinx there before them. When that string of buildings comes into view, it's my version of deep-sea diving or rappelling into an Amazon gully.  A complete thrill.  Magic.

Again (with the weepiness) I tried not to look like a yokel just-in from the foothills as the bus emerged from the tunnel now, suddenly, amongst the buildings.  But there's something about that place that, even now, just makes me kind of shaky and emotional.  It's loud and, at times, horrific-smelling.  It's crowded and expensive and intimidating.  But it's perfect.

Toronto (love it as I do) is a city built on insecurity.  Where Manhattan is the teenage bombshell, we're the nerdy tween next door who recedes into the background, feeling less-than, a mess of angst and jealousy.  Sure, when it all shakes down, we're bound to come out on top: a little smarter, with more-supportive parents and slightly-stronger morals.  And we'll grow into our looks.  But, for now, we're unsure and much less glamourous. 

The moment you step foot upon a New York City sidewalk, you can feel its confidence.  Maybe it's pop culture run amok, but between the hustle and the skyscrapers and the simple density of it all, the place is a dream.

And, suddenly 12 hours on a bus evaporated and I was here.  Left to my own devices to wander and take it all in.  No one else had a say about where or when or how I'd get there.  If I wanted to jump in a cab or walk 40 blocks clear across town, it was completely up to me. 

And, as it would turn out, instead of the three-days-planned, I'd spend six, shooting pictures for five.  I'd zip along the West Side Highway and wander the Highline, dash to Brooklyn for a 10pm dinner, or wake (wide-eyed) at dawn, the hum of the city too thrilling to sleep through. 

As I crept up to street-level through Penn Station, my adventure - perhaps something more than that - began.



3 comments:

  1. i love your writing. you make me feel like i'm right there in ny.

    loved all of your photos you were posting!

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  2. beautifully written pal! Makes me want to go back right NOW!

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  3. "There's nothing like the moment you catch sight of New York City's skyline. Maybe it's just me, but I immediately stop blinking and the air is sucked from my lungs."--Not just you. I still feel like that every time I return home to this great city of mine...

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