“I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.”
— Dylan Thomas
Last week saw my return to one of my favourite cities; NEW FREAKING YORK.
And what were some of my big take aways this time around? 1) One trip to the big apple is simply not enough in one calendar year. 2) The humans of New York are likely some of the coolest and most fascinating creatures on planet earth.
Before I get to the nitty gritties of this trip, my first two experiences can be summed up as follows:
Trip 1: Short, superficial, but memorable.
I was first introduced to the city in 2004 when I went on a school trip with 26 other dramatic arts high school students. That spring, all 27 of us crammed onto a Greyhound and drove 11 hours from Toronto to Manhattan over night. At that time, I was going through your typical teenage identity crisis, where I left home to collect things and not memories because I thought the more things you had the cooler it made you. #LAME. In the four days I was there, I saw a couple Broadway productions (Blue Man Group and Rent), visited famous landmarks (Rockerfellar Centre, Times Square, 30 Rock), but spent most of my days on shopping excursions because all I seemed to care about were fake designer bags and cheesy group photos to hang up in my locker. With all of the materialistic distractions and a young and ignorant outlook, I wasn’t able to truly appreciate the city for what it was worth. That being said, I knew there was something special about the city and I was certain I’d discover the reasons later in life.
Trip 2: Long and uninspired.
My second trip took place this past February and I was beyond anxious to visit the city after 10 years! I took a short and pain free flight this time around to see a friend who’s work load crept up on him, leaving me avec no choice but to explore the city on my lonesome. As grateful as I was to be on vacation, dinners would in New York City would’ve been more enjoyable with a counterpart.
Which brings me to my third trip to the city. This time around I decided to take another road-trip because they’re my favourite form of travel and because I wanted to spend some quality time with a close friend, who was visiting New York for the first time.
Here is what New York taught me the third time around:
1) MOTION IS LIFE
As the world rapidly changes and evolves, this city will remind you that we too must do the same in order to thrive.
2) SEE OR BE SEEN
No matter who you are, where you’re from, where you reside, or what socio-economic background you possess, we are all human. It’s that simple. And as humans. we all have attributes that bring us together and attributes that set us apart. It’s more than evident when you’re in New York, which is fascinating because there is so much chaos and noise that one could easily assume it’d be nearly impossible to connect with others or find yourself in that kind of environment. But you can! You actually get to connect with complete strangers through similarities of being human and distinct differences of well, being human. And in an environment built on organized chaos, you can either choose to blend in or stand-out for being your authentic self. How beautiful is that?
3) THERE ARE SEVERAL PRECIOUS NEEDLES IN THE HAYSTACK
Meet actress, model and beautiful New Yorker @mellybeedee. She and I have been following one another on Instagram for several months and I had the pleasure of meeting her in the flesh in Times Square! It was literally the HIGHLIGHT of my trip! It’s hard to articulate what it’s like to connect with complete strangers via social media, but when you make that connection through like-minded goals, thoughts, posts, the relationship you form can be unlike any other. And that should be why we use social media – to inspire and connect.