NYC as a visitor

Move to New York, everyone exhorted, when I met up with old friends who have since left Chicago and are comfortably (cosily) esconed in the big apple.

It was lovely to meet up with old friends again – a picnic on the grass in the NYU hospital with a frazzled-looking Angela who is swotting over her boards; over drinks and ramen with Page and Wendy; and squashed in the hole-in-the-wall wonton place with Julia (who was once again, coincidentally visiting the same weekend as I was).

I had a blast. 🙂 Though I am still doubtful that I could ever live here. The pace of life is much too harried and quick: unlike the residential but still lively neighborhood of Lakeview, most of the streets here in NYC are crazy-packed with people and traffic. By evenings, the streets are also strewn with litter; by the wee hours, pedestarians have to weave their way about the ubiquitous trash bags.

Still, I enjoyed being a visitor (as opposed to a tourist because I did not bother visiting the tourist attractions; and despite having been here probably more than a dozen times, have never been to either the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty). We walked all over town in the two days we were here. First from NYU up to Bloomberg, where we managed to spend two hours wandering about the premises; this is so far the nicest office I’ve been to! Today, we strolled from Chinatown to West Village to Chelsea, and back up to Central Park again. I really reveled in meandering my way through the different neighborhoods, looking into elegant pre-war buildings, walk-ups, through the various street festivals (where I picked up a pair of sunglasses and Jeff a cap and a manila-folder-like laptop sleeve). This was what made NYC so delightful to stay in, this and the multitude of amazing restaurants.

But as I walked, I also realized that had I lived here, this probably would not have been my weekend habit anyway. One sometimes has to be a visitor to appreciate the simple wonders of living in a space (disregarding the fact of course, that we have much better real estate in Chicago heh). Afterall, I only missed Chicago when I realized I would be leaving it, just as I realized that I would miss Singapore right before I moved back.


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