I finally made it!
Okay, in all honesty, I was only in this amazing city for a total of approximately 9 hours – of which I got to spend maybe 2 hours site seeing – but heck, for all intensive purposes I can finally say it: “Yes, I’ve been to New York!”
And, after an incredibly and surprisingly frightening 1 hour flight up from Raleigh, North Carolina – one hour down from one hour, forty minutes due to bizarre tailwinds that sped the airbus up uncontrollably – I couldn’t have been more happy to be on New York turf. I’ve never been a very good flyer, and with each takeoff I find myself drying my sweaty palms on my pant leg, asking myself relentlessly “When will I get over this fear of flying?”
After a very bumpy flight, the landing gear finally emerged and the runway came into sight. I let out a breath of relief. Landing is my favourite part of flying; for some reason each time the wheels hit the tarmac I deem my life saved, releasing my seatbelt and nearly jumping for joy. So when the plane suddenly and unexpectedly surged away from the landing strip with speed and began climbing well above a safe-to-land position, my near joy and relief was quickly replaced with fear and panic. I looked around. The girl next to me – who for some reason I felt was clearly a New York native – smiled nonchalantly. I looked out the window panicking at the growing distance between myself and the earth, and noted some others doing the same. I began to wonder whether the notoriously obnoxious JFK air traffic controllers had been bullying our pilot, or something of the sort.
The touch down came the second time around, and finally after the longest hour of my life, I was safely on the ground.
After struggling with my ginormous bag and stowing it for the day at the storage facility at JFK, I hopped in a taxi, too excited and impatient to wait for my prepaid shuttle. I made my way to Times Square, bumper to bumper, and as the city skyscrapers of Manhattan came into site I got the surge of excitement I anticipated I always would in this moment, a smile spreading wide across my face.
New York is a big one for me. I spent most of my adolescent years comforted and entertained by Sex and the City, and the character of Carrie herself has lent much to my aspirations of writing, as silly as it may be. So the cloudy, rainy day didn’t bother me at all. And the surge of excitement only continued as I wondered my way up and down Times Squares, my eyes peeking up from beneath my newly purchased umbrella at the lights and skyscrapers, my thoughts primarily surrounding a simple sentence: “I’m in New York, yay!”
I stood for a moment in the middle of Times Square, umbrella to my side, allowing the rain and the buzzing energy of the New York atmosphere to surround me. Although it was only a quick hello, I knew it wouldn’t be goodbye. So I mentally checked off “Go to New York” from my bucket list, and added in a fresh new item below it.
“Spend an entire week in New York.”