escape from new york (2)

I returned from New York again very late on Wednesday night. This was actually a forty-eight hour trip, so I was able to see a LITTLE more of the city than I did last time. I was still centered in the same few blocks between 5th and 7th in midtown, but I escaped Tuesday night to visit my cousin on the Upper West Side. Or, as he put it, “it’s kind of like the Berkeley of NYC”.

Did I mention that my company’s offices are on the 35th floor of a midtown building? They have killer views, stretching as far as both the Hudson and the East River through the valleys of the buildings. It fascinates me to look out the windows, at all the people & taxis on the street, at all the skyscrapers around them, at the traffic on the rivers.

Actually, walking through midtown Manhattan reminded me a little of being in Vancouver. Probably because it was drizzling on Tuesday. Downtown Vancouver is also very dense, and packed with tall buildings – both business and residential. I felt like I could have looked up and seen downtown end and the mountains begin. Of course, Manhattan seems to go on forever – at least, north-south. Vancouver does not. Which was what I loved about both Vancouver and Seattle, that they were major cities on the edge of the wilderness.

This trip, on the Tuesday night, I left the office a little before 8pm, and walked up Broadway to Times Square, surrounded by tourists. (Victoria snobbery prevents me from self-identifying as a tourist even when I am.) I had a cup of Tasti-D-Lite ice cream, which was more delicious than any of the similarly low-calorie mostly chemical frozen desserts I’ve found in L.A. (I’d still have a tough time choosing between Tasti-D-Lite and Pinkberry’s pomegranate flavour). I looked at all the brightly lit buildings, all the neon, all the signs, all the people – and then I caught a cab to the Upper West Side, where I admired all the pre-war classic apartment buildings. That part of the city felt like a regular residential neighborhood – people walking dogs, families getting home…a pre-war neighborhood on a walking scale. Broadway in that neighborhood is lined with shops, just like Broadway in, well, Vancouver.

I still have not seen Central Park, and I would really like to walk around there. I have not been inside the New York Library, although I passed in in the car going back to the airport. I have not seen about 80% of Manhattan. And Queens seems to go on forever. But now that I’m a little more intrigued by the possibility of visiting NYC, now that it no longer seems so overwhelming, maybe I will go visit on vacation. It looks like I’ll be back at IMS NYC in the future, at the least. I’ll get through more of the city, bit by bit.

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