What can I say about New York City that isn’t already common knowledge? It’s crowded, expensive, it smells like sewer and it’s the most amazing city on the planet. The humidity on the East coast gives me a moldy feeling but the place still has its merits. The bagels, for example, make up for a lot. The pizza makes up for the rest. The incredibly efficient public transportation is the cherry on top. The graffiti-ed dirty subway is so easy to use that even the insane homeless people have figured out regular daily routes. They yell out prophecies while people give them loose change. It’s noisy on that thing. Turn on the kitchen blender and bang pots and pans together and you’ll make a New Yorker feel homesick.
I did the very touristy thing. I took a walking tour of Greenwich Village. I went to Central Park, a patch of sanctuary in the middle of a hectic city. A place where they keep all the giant green trees and quiet people in New York. While I was there, I got caught in a rainstorm so I ran under a bridge. I laughed while running because the attempt to escape being soaked was futile and in the moment, though my shoes were squishy from running through ankle deep puddles, I knew it had been and will be a long time before I get to run around in the rain again.
On the opposite end of the peacefulness spectrum, I took a walk through Times Square. The bombardment of advertisement and lights rivals the Las Vegas strip. Street vendors and sidewalk artists populated every corner of Broadway. Every foreign language in the world seemed to be spoken at the same moment. It was sensory overload. Very exciting. While I was sitting on a piece of some structure in the middle of Times Square, a man began to yell for a doctor. A woman was screaming and crying. I was eating an almond pastry. She held an unresponsive toddler like a wet rag doll. Her face was contorted with her mouth hanging open and her eyes all scrunched up.
The man kept yelling desperately for a doctor. No one in hundreds of people said a thing only stared silently. It was impromptu performance art, a free Broadway play. I took another bite of my pastry and kept watching like the rest of the people. The man called an ambulance and it showed up before I finished my last bite. Impressive speed in that city, I’d say. I wonder if the kid died or what.
Anyway, I’m back in Vegas. I’m glad to be here. The stifling, dry heat and urban sprawl feels like home. Vegas occupies such a large area for such a relatively small amount of people. It’s like someone took a regular city and spread it like jelly against a piece of toast. Yeah. So, I’m glad to be here but looking forward to leaving again. I can’t live on a piece of toast forever.