After a handful of years lurking social media, with constant thought and wonder about New York City and all its glory, I finally had a chance to experience The Big Apple for myself - alongside some of the best people: my family, my cousin, and my girlfriend. We stayed in Midtown Manhattan, not knowing what we were getting ourselves into, but a couple of days and numerous navigation mistakes later, we finally got the hang of New York's crazy public transportation system. One thing that I enjoyed about New York, similar to that of Chicago, was that everything was more or less flat and on a grid. Don't get me wrong - San Francisco and its hilly terrain will always have my heart, but having consistently flat ground was a treat for our calves and knees, which were already tired at the end of each day due to an immeasurable amount of walking and exploring Manhattan.
Simply put, New York City definitely set itself apart from the rest of the major US cities I've been to thus far. San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago are all decently large, metropolitan cities, but Manhattan Island is - well - an island, for goodness' sake! Tokyo would fall into a similar category as Manhattan, boasting its own respective reputation as a Metropolis, but both cities are very different. New York's culture and diversity was a blast to experience - from the delicious food on seemingly every corner, to the claustrophobia-inducing streets of Times Square, to the relaxed vibe of East Village, to the fashion-filled streets of SoHo, to the calm serenity of central Park, to the brilliant architecture surrounding Tribeca, and so on. Did I mention the food everywhere was an absolute pleasure to experience? Because I'm not lying when I say I would (and will) go back to New York for the food.
Like everyone that has been to NYC before has told me, seven days in New York was definitely not enough, and I'll definitely find myself back here soon enough. If you've been keeping up with my blog posts for quite some time now, I know what you may be thinking - it feels like I say the same thing after visiting a new place for the first time, but I really do mean it every time. All in all, its moments like these that make me grateful for how much I've been able to see and experience thus far, and I can't ever feel anything short of blessed after coming home from a trip.