The first thing you notice about New York is the queues. When in the city you can’t escape one...for a taxi at the airport, to get seating in a cafe, for a cup of coffee, to get into museums, to get your photograph clicked with the bare torsoed model outside Abercombie and Fitch. So enamoured was Tee with the Abercombie model that she asked whether it was possible get his abs sign an autograph for her. He won’t be interesting anyway so why bother, she snootily informed us. The mother of all queues was for the ferry to the statue of Liberty. One look at it and we fled for dear life. The legendary long legged lasses (LLL) of New York were nowhere in sight. Perhaps they were held up too, waiting to get in to one of the famed sample sales?
Our flight took us under six hours to reach New York from San Francisco and it took us three hours to make it to our hotel thanks to the long wait for luggage, taxi and getting stuck in the traffic. For the sake of your sanity, please don’t drive in New York.
By the time we plonked our bags in our hotel room, we were dead tired. But our enthusiasm was far from damp and like eager beavers we headed straight for NYC’s ultimate destination – the Times Square. As we came out of the subway we felt dwarfed by the gigantic neon signs stretched across building facades. No wonder they are called supersigns. Anybody who is a somebody jostles for space here – New York Times, Reuters, the Conde Nast building, Ernst and Young headquarters. The list is endless. The Square, the epicentre of the city that never sleeps, throbs with an energy that tends to rub off on you. It bedazzles you with its pomp and show and engulfs you with joie de vivre. Even though it was well past midnight, the place was crammed with people, savouring the spirit of Big Apple.
This is New York – a study of contrasts – snooty but welcoming. Too busy to care yet mesmerizing. You just can’t escape its infectious charm. A megapolis with an oasis-like Central Park nestled amidst a jungle of skyscrapers. A city renowned for its Wall Street and the Museum Mile ( MOMA, Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art). The financial capital of the world yet a Mecca for art aficionados. A no nonsense subway, that works with clockwork efficiency, where busy corporates rub shoulders with the homeless begging for a few dollars. As you wait for your train, don’t be surprised if a group of youngsters break into a rap. As you climb up the stairs you might brush past a girl with soulful eyes playing the cello.
Manhattan’s fashion district is a fashionista’s delight – from Juicy Couture to Ermenegildo Zegna to Jimmy Choo – you can find them all. Walking in Saks 5th Avenue with stars in my eyes, one look at the price tags and I was out in 10 minutes flat. The quaint LittleMissMatched store...the stunning Versace window display..... Macy’s sprawling floors.....the rare, friendly shop assistant with a dazzling smile...the famed food trucks that left us cold.
You can catch one of the famed Broadway shows at the theatre district in your newly purchased Ralph Lauren dress, catch your breath in the Central Park listening to an acapella and spend the evening in one of the happening joints in Greenwich Village. The city has the unique ability to captivate and gratify all ages and all tastes. The five days just flew by and we were left asking for more.
And it doesn’t take much effort to work up a heart attack inducing credit card bill in NYC.
I may have been walking on sunshine, my heart doing a symphony but my eyes were constantly scanning the horizon for the LLL’s. Spotting one is akin to sighting a tiger in the forest reserves of Ranthambore, so elusive are they. I mean where were the statuesque women, with lamppost like legs, strutting their stuff in their little black dress? I beseeched the husband with disappointment clouding my eyes. I asked friends over dinner. Have the Sex in the City babes migrated to Sarajevo en masse? Inspired by Eat, Pray and Love are they now seeking nirvana is some remote ashram in Hissar?
But each time my eyes managed to behold the rare specimen, I would erupt with joy. So what if they were mostly in flip flops and maxi dresses! Like a kid who has just spotted a rainbow, I would excitedly tug at the husband’s sleeve. Alas he was too busy, immersed in one of his many maps, trying to locate the elusive bus stop for M4. Now you know what twenty years of domesticity can do to you.
We had booked tickets for a Broadway show – Daniel Radcliffe’s How to Succeed Without Really Trying. It’s not as if we are great fans of musicals but watching a Broadway musical is touted as a must do in NYC. The show was a revelation – electrifying performances by the ensemble cast especially the all grown up Harry Potter, speckled with the typical American sense of humour and backed by solid production values. It was mesmerizing, to say the least.
And I had my eureka moment too. Dancing and singing lustily in their stilettos were my elusive gorgeous women of New York. Each one looked like a beauty pageant contestant. Thankfully none of them was gushing about world peace or Mother Teresa.
I was a happy woman now, safe in the knowledge that my LLL’s were gainfully occupied, throwing up their arms and legs in the air, singing in falsetto.
I squeezed the husband’s arm and sighed....Dahling, you were dead right about the women of New York. They are simply stunning. And then in my sweetest voice I cooed... Can we go shopping now? You know, I saw this lovely black dress at Macy’s....
Do read my guest post for Cybernag....
Do read my guest post for Cybernag....