For the last ten years, one of the saddest truths about my travel escapades has been the fact that I, an American, had never been to New York. This was a source of slight embarrassment when speaking to my friends who were not American and HAD been to New York. Especially, as they had traveled from the other side of the world to visit the “Greatest City in the Universe.” I had numerous reasons for this. For one, the convenience really wasn’t there. For anyone who has never been to the U.S. before — IT’S BIG! From Seattle to New York — it’s roughly a six hour flight. Secondly, the U.S. doesn’t have as much time off from work as most other places in the world. The average is roughly 14 days of vacation for the year — this makes the time you have to travel quite short. So once I had the time, I was always more interested in international travel than domestic. But, then in 2015…something changed all that. I found myself living on the East Coast and New York was suddenly much more accessible — being only a few hours away by train or car. So, in October I took advantage of a three days weekend and drove to the Big Apple for what I would call “An Introduction to New York City.”
Most of it was spent walking around, seeing the sights and meeting up with some friends who lived there. And after all the years I have heard about how amazing New York is — I have to say it lived up to the hype.
One of the biggest highlights for me was seeing Washington Square Park — particularly the chess players. Director, Stanley Kubrick used to be a chess hustler in Washing Square Park and was so good at beating his opponents that supposedly he was able to fund much of his third film, Fear and Desire, from his chess winnings. It was also incredible to see the Chelsea Hotel (buried under scaffolding) where Dylan Thomas, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Janice Joplin and countless other artists stayed and lived. Then of course there was the pizza…
Time in New York was sadly short but that just leaves more things to see when I’m there next time.