Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New York City

Of course when writing a blog, one of the most important things that one must do is to think of a title which is so devastatingly witty that everyone will take a moment's break from sifting through drunken photographs of people on Facebook that they may or may not actually know, to read it.

So, as is my want, I started sorting puns in my head, because I think they're quite amusing, even if I am all alone in this opinion. Now 'Crete' and 'Greece' really offer a quite spectacular array of options...'sea-crete adventures', 'goodness greeceious me' ... there were quite a few actually. Don’t ask me why I started thinking of Greece and Crete...

But that is all totally irrelevant.

Today’s post is about the Big Apple/The City that Never Sleeps/Empire State...or simply, Manhattan. I decided to try use a map in New York with the hope of better familiarizing myself with its layout. Misreading the scale,  I came up with the brilliant idea of walking from 34th street/5th avenue to SoHo. According to my delusional calculations, it should have taken me about an hour. Try four hours. Whatever... navigating my way through the cultural sprawl reduced walking to an untaxing leisure activity. I refuse perfect knowledge of exactly where I am going in order to retain the possibility of getting a little bit lost. Indeed, one of the greatest pleasures of traveling is the discovery of unknown places/people, with the chances of accidental encounters.

Speaking of which, while sitting on a bench in Central Park eating sushi, I was people-watching..as you do. Standing across from me were a pair of 14 year old boys, and a pair of 14 year old girls, and lol I could feel those pre-pubescent hormones raging. I watched as one of the boys wrote in his mobile "u gt msn?" which he then showed to the girls, who giggled, replied by writing on their iphones, that yes, they did, and then proceeded to swap msn addresses. It makes me wonder how teenagers managed in the days before mobile technology and the internet...heaven forbid we actually had to talk to each other, face to face?

While I am somewhat on the topic of food, you may ask, how did I end up choosing sushi? Good question. It took a while for me to decide, after realizing that even a few blocks offered French, Turkish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and vegetarian restaurants. I shouldn’t have been surprised, after all, I was in the center of what is, in many ways considered the Mecca of cultural transmissibility. Anyway, the answer to the question is quite boring. Sushi was cheap and easy. I ate sushi while watching kids play a baseball game and listening to a young kid singing about love. Part of me was tempted to go up to the kid and get his autograph, after all, he could be famous one day. But somehow, the lyrics ‘baby, I would die without you..I have never felt so in love before...etc” told me there was still some time before people took him seriously.

So, as I end this rather random ramble, I would love to live in New York or Paris sometime, just for a short time. The two cities have striking similarities, with their quaint avenues/boulevards, swanky apartments with their eccentric geometry, fire-escapes and haute bourgeois residents who are always on the run. But even in the midst of these bustling cities, I didn’t realize how easy it is to feel alienated and lonely. I have no desire to explore the bars/restaurants, go to the theater and live in these vibrant cities without people to share it with.