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New York, The City that Never Sleeps

(I did, I had insane Jet Lag, but then again, I’m not a city, and it was OK that I slept, didn’t run it by Bill de Blasio though)

My first blog on travelling just had to be about New York!

In June 2016, I visited the “City that never sleeps” for the first time ever. I’ve had a slight obsession with New York City since I first knew about Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and this obsession was established after watching the Devil wears Prada in 2006.

There is just something about New York, it is not the Hudson, lights, central park, air vents, buildings, odd smells, scaffolding, Designer Stores, churches, Wall Street, food or New Yorkers, it is how the combination of all of these made me feel: invincible (quite a big word to use for someone who struggled getting their URL sorted for her blog). The last time I had this feeling, was in 2010 when I visited Cape Town for the first time. The closest feeling to this, is the feeling of being in Love!

On top of the Brooklyn Bridge! (this was the 16th photo, because I was freaking out)

Let’s go back, As part of my amazing job, I got the opportunity to travel to New York. I arrived a few days before my official arrangements started, and explored the city as if the younger version of me always imagined it, big hat, leather handbag, summer dress.  Me, myself and I, ready with my journal, and camera, stuffed rhino (Burkeling, me and the Human’s pet) hoping to capture every detail of this journey.

Burkeling and I (Jet Lag Face)

As we were flying into JFK, I could see New York and I looked at the New York skyline(like a character on a bus in a music video, staring outside the window as it is raining), having to pinch myself, I just couldn’t believe I’m in New York. A tear might have rolled down my cheek (cheesy but true),I am having a slight freak out moment remembering the emotion.

I arrived on a beautiful warm sunny Summer’s afternoon, the AirBnB I booked was in Brooklyn, the building was old, and the tiles: beautiful. I put my bags down, got dressed and was on my way, ready to find the Brooklyn Bridge. “I am going to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, New York” I told, myself with another squeak of absolute excitement. In the Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes;

“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge,” Nick says, “is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world”.

The Brooklyn Bridge was that Bridge for me, promising all the mystery and beauty in the world.

The AirBnB’s beautiful tiles

Seeing New York for the First time, From the Brooklyn Bridge

Every moment of my first few hours was overwhelming, I can remember:

  • the look of the sun-rays in the sky,
  • the sound of the taxis hooting,
  • the subway screeching,
  • tourists looking at the city trough their camera lenses,
  • hipsters on bicycles,
  • businessmen and -women, ready to tackle the issues of the day,
  • musicians looking to make a extra buck,
  • mass produced “unique” art pieces,
  • street vendors shouting to sell fruit,
  • searching for the sun once in Manhattan,
  • looking for grass,
  • experiencing  fifth avenue, and
  • looking at the billboards in Times Square.

Slowly I became aware of “mechanism”, every component in the city is vital in creating this well oiled machine, everyone just seems to know  where to go! As I walked a good 15 km (more than 103 km in the week) on my first afternoon was lost, not physically (I’m kind of good at directions), but lost, in awe, in a dream, it just did not feel real.

Jip…103 kms (in less than a week)

Over the next few days I walked 110 kms, and tried, as I could to take an unbeaten path (but we both know that is not possible). I wanted to see what I dreamed about, exploring the unknown not what a LonelyPlanet blog said I should. My favourite moments in New York were:

1. Having picnic in Central Park

Well this is me, obviously…

2. Looking for the Audrey Hepburn mural in Little Italy and finding it

The Audrey mural in Little Italy, Close to Soho

3. Seeing Fifth Avenue for the first time

Fifth Avenue!! I could not stop Smiling

4. Finding Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock and Rothko and  in the Met.

Composition by Piet Mondrian (1921)

Autumn Rhythm (number 3) by Jackson Pollock (1950)

No 16 by Mark Rothko (1960)

5. Eating Strawberries on the Met Steps (like Blair & Serena), while a Saxophone player entertained all of us

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts

6. Almost experiencing Manhattanhenge

Somewhere in New York, seeing the actual sun for the first time in Days

7. Finding the Nightingale Bamford School

The School!

8. Sitting on steps at Grand central station

Walking to the central section of Grand, well Central

9. Wall Street!!

(No I did not take a photo of the Charging Bull, I did however take a photo of a lot of tourist surrounding what I assume was the charging Bull)

Somewhere in Wall Street

10. Visiting the New York Library, and stumbling upon Mary Poppins’s umbrella

New York Library!! Walked past this everyday, we stayed in Library Ave.

11. Seeing David Ippolito in Central park;

David Singing!!

10. And Above all Having breakfast, at Tiffany’s

(The famous novel by Truman Capote, and the Character Holly Goligthy portrayed by Audrey Hepburn).

So on the Tuesday morning, I went to the bakery in Grand Central, where I got a Danish (what Holly Goligthy ate, she didn’t eat a Donut, and a coffee), walked to Tiffany’s, and stood in front of the store, having my Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I struggled eating as I just could not stop smiling.

Me, at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s 

I loved the way I felt in New York, not as a tourist, as a human. The structure, the people, the similarity and diversity of everyone, Everyone woke up that morning, knowing consciously or unconsciously that If they could make it in New York they could make it anywhere. Every single person woke up as either a mom, dad, brother, sister, daughter or son, someone with a name and a birthday. This before they were consumed by the rustle of the City and they were now just a face in the  City that Never Sleeps, with an Identity, which only mattered to them, till later, when they arrive back home, where they were once again a person, and not only a human.

I cannot wait to go back, I have to, it feels like a part of me is still there

Love, Lien

Most Beautiful Pink Peonies in Eataly.


I Burst out laughing seeing this Banana trying to cross a road. It was just there, in (one) peace (piece).

Having Nitro-Coffee at Stumptown!

CaroLINA Sauce 🙂

: Seattle Coffee Company & My Desk (not at the same time)

: 16:47

: I see you (Mika)

1 thought on “New York, The City that Never Sleeps

  1. Love the quote from Great Gatsby and the “mechanism” realisation… so true.
    Stumptown is a hit – i used it as a coffee shop benchmark ever since..
    Cool piece.

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