And now, the destination I chose for my grand 30th birthday...
Walking in New York city is like walking inside a movie. The streets, buildings, subways, parks and yellow cabs, everything about this city has been beautifully represented in cinema for decades. The Empire State building in Sleepless in Seattle, Wollman’s Rink in Central Park in Serendipity, Times Square in New Year’s Eve, Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Katz's Delicatessen in When Harry Met Sally, to name only a few. Everywhere you walk, a movie scene pops into your head and gives you a feeling of reliving it in real-time. You can’t help but feel alive with the magnetic energy that surrounds you.
Before I chose New York as the destination to celebrate my 30th birthday, most of my friends asked me why I wanted to visit a destination I already had instead of opting for a new one. I didn’t have a very convincing answer for them, but I just knew I wanted to be in NYC. It is the only city I wish to live in. The eclecticism of the people who inhabit it and the general vibe of the city is intoxicating. I wanted to walk the streets in the chilly winter in with a cup of eggnog latte in my hand and smile gleefully at passer-bys as I rediscover the city.
Besides, NYC cannot be explored in just one trip; there’s so much to see and do.
On this trip, I wanted to get to know the city’s different neighbourhoods better. So to start with, I took a historic tour of Harlem with Big Onion Tours and a food tour of Brooklyn with Urban Oyster. I will be sharing individual posts on each soon, so more on that later. I also attended two fun events through Couchsurfing giving me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and discussing facets of our individual cultures. My birthday was quiet, but really nice. Since I was at the food tour in Brooklyn, Joe, our guide, was kind enough to get me a cupcake and have the group sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. It all went well till they reached ‘happy birthday to…’ and a long pause ensued. Awkward! Anyhow, I ended the day hanging out with new friends at my hostel. Truly, it was a memorable one, just like I hoped it would be.
My birthday cupcake at One Girl Cookies, Brooklyn
The Urban Oyster Brownstone food tour group