It’s been six years since I was last in New York and it shouldn’t be surprising that a city of 8.5 million people feels so different.
Last time I was staying with a group of Australians in a spacious apartment in Korea-town, the Empire State Building loomed outside my window. We were starstruck tourists determined to visit every landmark and live the fantasy of living in the Big Apple.
Now I’m staying at an upscale hotel a block away from Central Park. I’m sharing the room with an American, we’re both quietly poking at our laptops, taking time during the slow parts of the afternoon to gather energy for nights of going out. We’re accessing a different part of the city, more of the expensive shows and bars.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve lived for so long in America now. Or, more likely, it’s because we’ve gotten so comfortable with our money and access that we’ve earned throughout our twenties. New York feels like it will always be here and there’s no urgency to try and understand it or live out its promises in the span of a day.