“City of prose and fantasy, of capitalist automatism, its streets a triumph of cubism, its moral philosophy that of the dollar. New York impressed me tremendously because, more than any other city, it is the fullest expression of our modern age.”
– Leon Trotsky, My Life, 1930
I start this report by apologizing for not having published a more detailed diary but one of the adjectives I will remember thinking back at these days is Busy. However I am here to summarize my stay in NYC and to tell you what I felt in this city. (sorry in advance for the length)
NOTE: The photos below are just a selection of the gallery published on flickr
The airplane was smaller than I thought while the ocean was... huge! 8 hours of water seem like ages.
I landed in Newark at 4 pm I suddenly realized that I had left my country with almost no plans when, speaking with other passengers and with the border police, they asked me the address of the hostel and what I would like to do in NYC. From here to the hostel (of which at that time I didn't know the address) it was a strange trip but surely I need to thank my new American aunt, Susan, while I will not thank the taxi-driver who left me 4 blocks far from the destination.
Finally I arrived at the hostel Hostelling International NYC as suggested by Marco. A shower and a burger later I was already in a pub with Andrea who came to welcome me.
When I arrived in NYC I was looking forward to meeting Andrea (he studied CS at the same university in Italy) but I would never think of meeting him after 1 hour since my arrival at the hostel!
When I was a bit more relaxed I discovered that I would be staying in NYC for many days! (august has 31 days? really?) and despite this was great news it was also bad news because the big Apple is really really really expensive! Luckily Andrea helped me hosting me in his room for the first days. Andrea was also extremely useful because he provided me with his personal NYC Tourist To Do List which shortly became my NYC plan. Thanks to Andrea's list I visited some interesting and non-obvious things (as the HighLine and the Columbia University). In the evening, after work, Andrea took me to see the Brooklyn Bridge by night and some great pubs, one night we went climbing with a friend of him! Climbing in NYC, yeah!!
PS: yes, with Andrea I visited NYC Google Offices!! What a huge and cool place :) I can't tell you anything, ahahah but trust me they are really as they say! Full of toys, skates, blackboards, tech museums and strange settings. The have many different (and really good) restaurants inside (one of them has one of the best view on NYC!) and some clues of a mysterious treasure are hidden here, somewhere. The last things I can tell you are that I beated Lorenzo at billiards and that the Frozen Yogurt with strawberry and basil is something wonderful.
See you in (Irvine|NYC|Padua), Andrea!
As I came back to the hostel I joined a tour group hoping to meet some friends and to see something new (It was already the third day of my staying).
Beyond the interesting things seen and the new friends met the guide was a cool and interesting old person who shown and told us not only about the city but also about life in general, always with a funny laugh in his mouth!
Jerry, this was his name, took us on a really interesting tour of NYC that lasted more than 16 hours!!
He told us about the different neighbourhoods and the different people that live in NYC. He took us to many different places, from the classic touristic meta to the most hidden place like a great Indian Restaurant in the East Village, he gave us useful advice that only an expert guide can give. (Jerry's Grand Tour of New York City, Absolutely something to do in NYC!)
For at least 3 days I went around for the neighbourhoods of NY completely alone.
I like walking alone through the streets of a new city as it allows me to take my time to observe it.
I saw some interesting places from different points of view, I got lost many times, and I stopped to observe the people and places.
I stopped to see the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 memorial, as well as the people in Little Italy, in China Town, the runners in central park and the children in the baseball field.
One problem with NY is that the big apple is really really big and if you try to see it just walking this will take you at least 2 weeks. Moreover walking alone you will meet few people, for this reason after 3 days I came back to the hostel activities.
Once I participated to the hostel activities I met new friends from all over the world.
One thing that impressed me was that every traveler is a person with a great courage who often has a great story to tell you too.
I met Ignacio from Argentina who told me "Once I come back I will get married", Dayna from New Zealand who was looking for a job to stay in the USA, Ben and Jack from London with which I played karaoke in a pub nearby, as well other guys from Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Kentucky, Alaska...
We stayed together for few days and sometimes just some hours but I hope to hear from them again in the future.
... I have to leave again! I found NYC a unique city, different from what I had expect.
I will remember NYC as a cubist painting of which I enjoyed many different (sometime opposite) aspects and where everything fits right, though the result is neither homogeneous nor easy to understand.
Now I will quickly put this new painting in my baggage and I will go to take the next flight, see you later alligator!