We're back from NYC and it is good to be home. We've been to New York before but this trip was quite the eye-opener. I don't remember the city being so chaotic, noisy, busy, full of life, full of dirt, full of opportunity, full of construction! For those who've never been, its hard to describe it. I guess in previous trips I've only done the 'tourist' thing, but this time, I got to see the real city. We stayed in an apartment in the Carroll Gardens neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Brooklyn must get a bad rap because I never expected it to be so charming and livable. The brownstones are beautiful and the streets felt safe.
We made full use of our days and shopped in SOHO, explored the furniture stores in DUMBO, hit the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, brunched at Balthazar, scoured fabrics in the garment district, checked out MacBook Pros at the Apple cube store, dined in Chinatown, and rested in Central Park. I hit a few of the stores on my "Must Visit" list like West Elm, ABC Carpet & Home, Jamali Garden, and my fave by far Fishs Eddy where I got the cutest little jadeite cake stand. And if that wasn't enough, we braved the crowds and stopped by the Woodbury Common Outlets on the drive home. NYC truly is a shopper's paradise.
Funny but every time I visit a city, I wonder if I could live there. While I appreciate New York's sense of possibility, its unique fashion sense, the cast of characters you encounter just walking down the street... it is a very hard city. There is a feeling of 'struggle' that permeates it... you need to work your way through the crowds, work your way up to the top, work through the subways and towers, work towards your dreams. Its unforgiving. Its relentless. And to make it there, you really do have to pour your heart and soul into the city. As I sat riding the subway one day, I thought about Jennifer Lopez and how she managed to make her way from riding the 6 train from the Bronx, just another Latina with big dreams and talent, to standing out from millions of others to achieve her success. I came to understand why New Yorkers are so proud of their city - and justifiably so. Its a city that kicks you in the butt and tests you at every turn. It gets in your blood, is tender and cruel all at once. As the song goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
HandyMan and I agreed that one week was enough time to savor New York. Its not a city I could call home, so I'm amazed at those who can and do. And still, I <3 NY