New York City

New York. New York. New York. New York. How amazing would it be if I could just write New York a hundred times and it would make you understand how much love I have for this city. Going to NYC has always been one of my dreams as long as I can recall it. I remember that I used to set this goal for myself: going to New York by the time I would be 26, and live there by 30. Well, I definitely succeeded in the first one because I went there twice before I turned 23. Regarding the second goal, I am not even sure that this is very actual anymore. I do love the energy that this city carries, the one that always pushes you to do better, try and work harder; but even if I always saw myself living there at some point in my life I really don't know if that will ever happen. I often consider looking for a job there, but you all know how much I love California and how I am not ready to leave it yet. You might also wonder why I chose San Diego in the first place, when I could have lived in New York. Well, I always knew that I would go there at some point in my life (living there was even on the list, so I had time!), but the same thing wasn't sure about San Diego so I took this one in a lifetime opportunity and chose Cali. If I could choose to go anywhere, why not choose the furthest point. However, even though I was having a blast traveling around Cali, I couldn't resist the urge to visit New York. So after hesitating a long time, I finally booked a plane ticket and two weeks later, there I was; in the Big Apple.

It truly was one of the best trips of my life. I have to admit that I was a little anxious. What do you do when you are about to realize a dream that you carried for so long? How empty will you feel? Will you ever have another dream that big? Will you be disappointed? Because, well, I had a lot of expectations and I didn't want them to be ruined. I do think that it is sometimes more comforting to stay in the fantasy of something rather than living it. A lot of questions and apprehensions, but I have to say that I was fulfilled. I only had time to stay 3 nights/3 days, so it was fast and as you can imagine, barely enough time, but it was my chance so I took it. I arrived on the Thursday night, I was tired, but looking outside the cab's window the whole time. I was even more amazed when I discovered that I could see the Empire State Building from my hotel room. I couldn't resign myself to go to sleep, the view was just too good (my wallet didn't think the same thing, but it was worth it). I finally hit my bed around 4AM and was up at 9AM to start exploring. I first went to the Grand Central Station, then up the Empire State Building (where the view is breathtaking), wandered all afternoon on the famous Fifth Avenue and went to Times Square at night. I did not take the subway that day; I just wanted to walk around and get a feeling of the city, which I did, but my feet remember the pain. I love that feeling when you discover another place - you feel so lost at first, but rapidly start getting familiar as the city becomes yours. The names, the streets, the places and you know that it will forever will be in your head and heart. 

The next day, I went to visit the Museum of Natural History, Central Park (I am so amazed by this relaxing nature in the middle of the city), walked around the Upper East Side and finished the day by going up the Rockefeller Center. What is a better view than the top of the Empire State Building? The view where you see the Empire State Building of course. From my personal experience, I highly recommend going up the Rockefeller Center if you have to choose between the two. You have a bigger and better view (try to do both: night and day). I also took my first New York subway ride that day and I did not expect the express lines. You can imagine my face when I realized that I missed my station and wouldn't stop for a long time. Well, today I'm laughing about it, but at the moment, it was everything but funny. On the third and final day, I went to Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge. I of course didn't see everything, but I still felt like I covered a lot (the statue of Liberty was still closed because of the hurricane Sandy). It was an intense, but very good trip and it will always be in heart. 

I went there in the beginning of May and I think it was a perfect time. The weather was great (not too hot and not too cold), there were some tourists, but it wasn't so crowded and it was pretty easy to navigate through. As you can imagine, I was very sad to leave and promised myself that I would come back. And I did! I came back seven months later during Christmas time (another dream) and I will tell you all about it in another post ;) One more thing, if you go there, be sure to get a breakfast at Ellen's Stardust Diner, it's so much fun ;) 

"Most importantly, I learned that if you want to be happy, BE."

- With love, Célia


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