last month I shared Part 1 of my memories from our New York City trip. Are you ready for the second instalment?
As a first-timer in the Big Apple, I was oh-so-ready to experience all that New York had to offer. But there was a catch…I didn’t want to feel like the clichéd Tourist and the City. I was after an authentic New York escapade: to see the sights and explore the hoods…without feeling like a wide-eyed innocent, wet behind the ears. So with less than a week to spend in NYC, the only option was to hit the ground running.
What immediately grabs your attention, and holds it, upon arrival on the island of Manhattan is the incredible stratospheric architecture, looming up on every side of you. The breath-taking skyline is dotted with iconic skyscrapers; these constructions of cast-iron, glass and metal are superstars in their own right. New York has an inherent elegance, knowing just when to juxtapose the old with the new in perfect complement. Just a visit up the Empire State Building will showcase this unique generational fusion of the vintage with the contemporary, an industrial meet-and-greet of sorts. Art Deco masterpieces stand their own alongside sleek steel structures, their faceted façades catching the golden afternoon light like glinting precious cut gems.
Take to the streets and you’ll find a vibrant and diverse energy, which then slips underground to the subterranean layers of the subway system. And even within these transport tunnels you’ll find beautiful mosaic work in the most unlikely of places…another reminder of the intrinsic taste that runs through this gritty city. Glinting glass tiles catch your eye as you descend well-worn metal steps deep into the tunnels, and contemporary mosaics tell a story as you turn a corner. The subway hums with a thousand conversations and the deep base of trains in motion becomes the fundamental soundtrack of the system. New Yorkers and visitors rub shoulders as they speed Uptown and Downtown, East Side to West Side.
Back above ground, your senses shift as you enter a new part of town, the exploration continuing with the sensory overload of the sights, smells and sounds of this heroic city. Looking down, neon graffiti catches your eye as you stride along the wide side-walks, clean and busy. The iconic Flatiron building on 5th Avenue was designed to resemble a ship sailing up the Avenue, and remains one of the few classic examples of the early 1900’s architectural style. In this age of technology, the Flatiron is uniquely modernised with a free WiFi-zone area directly in front of this iconic ship where visitors can sit down and relax with a view of the nations first true skyscraper at 22 stories tall.
In a city primed and charged with vitality, I felt energised and inspired at every turn. New Yorkers, on a whole, are proud of their city, considerate and happy to help. I didn’t feel like a tourist, not once, and my creative batteries felt super-charged after my NYC experience.
All words and photographs by Megan Smith for www.dressedbystyle.com