I am in love with London but I am ravenous for the world. I have a raw, salacious appetite for its wisdom and its taste. I just love to devour it raw, unrefined and in its most basic forms. I am always eager to travel the world, to drink in all it has to offer; from its concrete jungles to its natural beauties. I want it all. I suppose that’s how I found myself washed up on the shores of New York, my second favourite city in the world.
As I made my way to arrivals I hear a tannoy overhead. “Melanie A to baggage claim 10, Ms. A to baggage claim 10.” And as I emerge from arrivals he is standing there, solitary in double denim. He picks me up and swings me around. “I had to tannoy you, I thought the Americans had kidnapped you. I’m glad you’re not dead.”
Surely that’s all you need in life. A someone that is glad you’re not dead. In a city that never sleeps.
Let’s not call it love though. If the best cure for one’s bad tendencies is to see them fully developed in someone else, then what if you see the best of yourself in someone else? Are you inspired? Does it scare you or excite you? I’m not talking about sharing a love of Breaking Bad, I’m talking about someone whose certain being aligns with your certain being.
We broke into an abandoned rooftop bar and watched the sunset behind the Brooklyn bridge and stayed up to stargaze until the thick October evening began to chill our bones.
I fell in love with New York all over again. I felt powerful walking across those streets – like I owned them. Those grid roads sprawl out like your own mini catwalk that you own every time the green man says walk. There is enough space to stride across with a fierce power, rather than stumble and gait and try to emerge unscathed the other side of tourists when you cross in London. After traveling 40 minutes for the best bagels early one morning in New York we poured champagne into our green tea bottles and walked down the whole of Central Park and joined the local kids for a game of basketball. New York is brimming with pleasant surprises.
New York is all encompassing and I love to feel anonymous and alone in big cities. To me it is a very comforting feeling to be made to feel like a little fish in a big pond, like a reminder to keep pushing forward. Anonymous can be good. It can help remind us of the best versions of ourselves, the one we allow to come out when we are not surrounded by familiarity. And New York? New York, I’ll be back soon.