New York, I love you but you smell a bit


Back again from NY I’m sitting on my bed in Munich going through all of the photos I took, hoping I will find words to describe my trip. The very first time New York City. Whatever you imagined it would be like, whatever films you saw, whatever people told you about NY, it’s all gone when you see it with your own eyes.

Actually, everything’s gone. When you exit the subway and swarm up to the surface with a hundred hurried persons, you just get slayed. I got thrown in at the deep end, because our hotel was located near 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

I mean everything is so huge. It’s not like you feel constricted because the streets and walkways are wide and you CAN see the sky but you’re too distracted by the skyscrapers and enormous buildings that soar.

They are beautiful: Some of them are super modern and give the impression to consist of glass only, some of them are more cast-iron looking, but together they build this incomparable scene you’d want to capture with your camera.

But let’s be true, the feeling you get in between this urban canyons can’t be captured in a photograph - it’s just not possible. However any corner gives you the perfect background for portraits, and fashion shootings.

That’s why we liked to explore Manhattan by foot the first days. It’s the best way, if you stay in Midtown to get a feeling for the city and understand how it works.

Because yes, it works a lot. People are always in a hurry, headset-talking always with a Starbucks cup in their hand, off to a quick lunch at bread&butter or for the next meeting. The only people not hurrying are the homeless and tourists. I guess that’s why the city is called „never sleeping“.

Because in fact, the city does sleep. Even Manhattan. From our hotel room up on the 19th floor you could always hear the noise from the streets and sirens, but most of the people have disappeared. As the week progressed we found out, that New York is a hard working city. Most of the citizens have more than one job, and now I do understand why.

This city is a really expensive place. Not only the rents but the living! We went dining out every evening and had breakfast almost every morning. It’s not hard to find a good restaurant or diner just around the corner, but food is really expensive- not to mention drinks (alcohol). I mean, I’ve been living in Munich for a while now, but this is nowhere near to compare. People have to work real hard and very much to afford a life in Manhattan.

So it’s no wonder that streets are pretty much emptied after 10 pm. Even a New Yorker goes to sleep. And the city can be very exhausting. Especially in summer months, it’s very hot. We had like 30 degrees but in between the skyscrapers and in the streets it felt like 40 degrees and so there’s no way to get over summer without air-conditioning. On top of that in the streets sometimes there’s a certain disgusting smell, I’ve never smelled before. But I guess, that’s just part of NY. It’s muddy and rundown with flair. Anyway, if you love Munich for it’s cleanliness and sterility, New York City is not your favored place to live.

Nevertheless there’s one thing Munich citizens could model themselves on the New Yorkers: I’ve never known a nation displaying such an incredible kindness towards everyone. Whether it was a salesperson, an officer, a pedestrian or a homeless, we’ve always felt welcome and well treated. People are able to apologize, give friendly advice, say thank you and always ask you how you feel. The homeless don’t throw things after you if you’re not giving them change, they say: „Have a nice day, Sir!“ and smile. And even if you might see this as only superficial, I’d love to have a social intercourse like this here in Germany. 

I wanted to see NY in summer, because there are so much more possibilities to explore the city. We’ve been in the city on 4th of July and it’s also my birthday so we went for a long walk in Central Park to enjoy a little time off the city. Central park is amazing. It’s a laguna for the citizens, especially on holidays. Families come together for a picnic or sporting activities, grandpas sitting on benches reading newspapers. It’s comparable to the Englischer Garten, but many-sided and again not as sterile. Also we almost got lost in some forest, because it’s so big.

In the evening we went to Chelsea to dine in the famous Buddakan. The restaurant is unique. The atmosphere is woozy and upscale and they serve excellent asian food. 

At 9:30 pm the fireworks on occasion of independence day started and were the perfect highlight for my birthday.

Altogether this trip was a highlight. The Arlo Hotel was the perfect place to stay, the food in New York was amazing, the people were lovely, the weather was super, we got to know many different sides of NY, time went by so fast.

I had amazing holidays in the city of cities and it won’t be my last visit. There’s still so much left to see. Thanks to all, who made it possible.