It was not long ago that I waded through stacks and piles of new books in my usual bookstore in passionate pursuit of that right one to take home with me. I never mentioned what book that ended up being. Never Can Say Goodbye – writers on their unshakable love for New York. Edited by Sari Botton. I picked it out for a number of reasons. It had a nice, slightly rough surface, one to provide a comfortable grip and to be stroked lovingly when no one is looking. It was large with long, full pages, and an inviting cover design of mellow blue hues – contrary to popular belief, judging a book by it’s cover is not an unforgivable sin. Those two words New York and the cluster of city buildings pictured drew me in, and glowed of something so unfathomably alluring. I opened the book, tentatively, like a secret invitation to the city itself. I picked it up that day from my collection of potential books, and didn’t put it back. I told myself, as a joke, that this book is my first step towards the city of New York. But I guess, subconsciously, I knew it was more than just a joke.
Lo and behold. Something is very much happening in life. New York is happening. In exactly one week. Oh my days, gee, gosh, and golly, I have never been to the famed city of New York before. It feels huge right now.
*cue opening bars of New York, New York performed by Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra*
I can already smell the adventure in the air. There is no concrete plan – I’m still very much a believer in the art of spontaneous decisions – but I do know I have lots to do before I go: Pore over the city maps, binge on New York-set movies, save every penny I can, and pack and pack again. There is also a tentative check list for the city:
- Get lost in Central Park
- Play ukulele in Grand Central station
- Watch the sunset off a rooftop
- Make it out alive
Much will be added, but I think it’s a good start. I know New York is also known largely for its toughness. I’m not too concerned; I’ll just have to be more than extra careful with my belongings and myself. Fear not.
One thing I discovered during InterRailing was that I quickly fell in love with nearly every city I visited (no hard feelings, Düsseldorf). Something about the rhythm of people’s footsteps beating into the streets. Something about the mystery and discovery of corners, cobblestones, and coffee shops. Cities are alive and I am in love. And New York shall be my next affair.