although Cape Town is definitely one of the most beautiful places to live and I feel incredibly grateful to stay in this uniquely stunning city, there are days when I long for the fast-paced beat of the big international cities. After having a delicious taste of it earlier this year, New York City is that city. The cosmopolitan and vibrant nature of the Big Apple seeped into my skin and now runs in my blood, mixing effortlessly with my South African fibre. I’m a chameleon like that! So on this Friday in Cape Town, come back on a journey with me to the streets of NYC through words and pictures…
Expecting a warm spring arrival in the Big Apple was not on the forecast…a delayed seasonal shift meant that all of New York City was awaiting the anticipated warmth with coats expectantly unbuttoned and legs bravely bare. With the chill of winter still lingering in the air, the blooms on the trees were just as determined to summon the warmth. The magnolia trees in City Hall Park were in full bloom, their waxy petals dressed in beautiful shades of ombré pink.
The streets and parks were adorned with recently planted tulips in one dazzling display after another. The sidewalks of Manhattan matched an artist’s palette, all freshly colour blocked in an ordered hue of bright and bold. In a city as large-scale as New York, the presence of natural beauty to balance the urban sprawl is all-important. Central Park creates this vital oasis in the middle of a gridlocked system, having been restored to its former Nineteenth Century glory. In fact, much of Manhattan is being refreshed, the characteristic facades of many buildings receiving a tasteful renovation.
Downtown, a graffiti artist in Soho had taken maps of New York and embellished them with his own artwork, covering the grid system with his own interpretations…with attitude!
Always a treat, the Spanish shoe brand Camper has a super-slick store on 5th Avenue featuring white moulded shoes mounted vertically on all the walls. The graphic contrast of a mostly monochromatic store amidst the liveliness of the colourful Manhattan streets was strikingly appealing.
In a city of diversity where old meets new in such a harmonious way, this balance caught my eye in a pedestrian plaza tucked away between 5th and Madison Avenues. A chunk of authenticity in the form of a 20-foot-high piece of the Berlin Wall is sitting in the middle of corporate New York, colourful with graffiti. Incongruous, yet somehow appropriate in the post-9/11 city that is undergoing a continual renaissance all of its own a decade later.
The Diesel store embraces the ironclad era, with it’s imposing punk façade dominating the Avenue on a massive scale.
Although the hustle and bustle of the city is profound, it’s not stifling or smothering…there’s place to breathe in a city that never sleeps.
all words and images by Megan Smith for Dressed By Style