I don’t believe in love at first sight. I’m a cynic, you know.
Riddle me this, if I won’t even buy a gorgeous piece of furniture that catches my eye in a store window without inquiring about its measurements, price and such, how can you expect me to profess my love for something (animate or inanimate) I’ve just seen, not matter how glorious? Such an impulse is highly improbable, if not entirely out of the question in my world.
So it wasn’t surprising that when people around me were madly falling in love within a few days, I was still unsure of my feelings towards the NewYork City even after two years. This city is hardly perfect. In fact, it’s far from it.
I wasn’t a big fan of all the ‘real’ people around. It’s still confounding to me how being a total douchebag to others makes one ‘real’? Burning in the mid-summer hell-fires of the subway station for two years seemed like more than enough karmic retribution for a lifetime and being told off by a homeless person for offering him some hot Starbucks coffee while it snowed outside was enough to cure me of any philanthropic genes I may have acquired during my stay in California.
We did not have a smooth start, this city and I and yet, after 2 years of a troubled relationship and distant gazing of the manhattan skyline from my apartment in New Jersey, with just 5 weeks left before I was to move out, I fell for it.
Maybe it was me, or maybe it was the city but something changed in those 5 weeks of summer. I’m not the one to give in to the sales pitch. Sure there are always things to do and sure, it’s a melting pot of world cuisine, culture, and art. Sure, who doesn’t appreciate the $0.99 pizza at 3am around every street corner, free events all year round and ice-skating at Central Park? Yet, those are not the things that I will miss the most. It took me two years, an interesting subway ride and an epiphany to realise what I love the most about this city.
New York city, for me, is the city of the nonconformists, the misfits. If you’ve felt like an odd bird your entire life, this is the city you will fit right it. You can be your weirdest self here and no one will pass you a second glance. If you never fit anywhere else in the world, you’ll be right at home here. No matter how strange or different you may have felt or been forced to feel all your life, from the moment you land in NYC, you belong. It’s more than a city, it’s a sanctuary for anyone who needs one. With all, it’s imperfections, the city seems to embrace yours with acceptance and openness of an understanding ally.
As strange as it may sound, it seems the city knows of its many imperfections and is always trying to redeem itself or at the very least offer excellent distractions in the form of countless performing artists who make the subway rides just a little more enduring. That to me is the most beautiful thing about this city, even more than the history it hides, or the dynamic manhattan skyline that always seems to reflect the mood of the heavens above.
Yes, I sound smitten, but then didn’t you know, cynics make the best romantics? It just takes longer to convince us.
‘My Summer Fling’ is a collection of photographs of NewYork City, mostly taken during my last 5 weeks here, with a few sprinkles from my earlier stay.