Could it be - that I am being seduced by New York.
I came to New York, where my cousin and I fed off each other's stereotypes. He thought we Canadians were so peaceful, educated, cultured, we would find New York scary, shocking and would need to be held by hand. I assumed New York would be dirty, rude, unsafe, grimy, seedy - in short something out of a bad Max Payne scene.
The first day lived up to my stereotypes. As the rain fell hard, the subways reeked of urine, the characters that rode the subway with me appeared to be on drugs, I was fully aware that Toronto was my home.
However, now as it is nearly time for me to leave, I have to say I will miss New York. And most of what I miss of New York will be its spirit. This is a city that truly never sleeps, that is truly alive.
On Thursday I went for a walk in George Washington Memorial Park, then through the lively New York University campus. It was Thursday night, but already the crowd was out and they know how to party. I tried Yakiniku - a Japanese restaurant. They bring out the food and you can grill the meat at your own table.
On Friday I was out in Rockefeller Center, near the food concourse. I saw countless couples on dates. One day, iA, I am going to treat my date there. Its an expensive city - people are busy making money to spend money to give themselves an illusion of being happy - yet it feels so good.
I ended up treating myself to a fried chicken sandwich from the street vendor, an Egyptian gentleman who told me the lines at his stall would start around 11 pm. It was the best fried chicken sandwich I ever ate. And it was 3 bucks. That's one thing I am going to miss in Toronto - the food vendors. In Toronto, they are not allowed to sell anything but hot dogs. Here - there's an international variety.
Saturday my prayers were finally answered as the sun brilliantly shone - and I took full advantage, wearing out the soles of my shoes, getting full faida - value - of my $7 metro day pass, and filling up the space on my camera's digital card. The fact that I bought a day pass was a big motivator for me to see as much of NYC as possible - after all I paid the extra buck so being a desi I would have to extract as much of it as possible.
Another huge factor of New York was the subways. Toronto - clean, safe. Toronto - 2. New York - dirty, but well connected. Went from one end of the city to other in barely 40 minutes. Went all over New York with just the subways. No bus. New York - 10.
Tomorrow, I start for home, iA. I will miss New York, for sure. Toronto, however, will always be home. It is a city, where I can feel I am within my own. Little things, like not worrying about leaving my car on the street, or leaving a bag lying on the seat in the car and not worrying about whether the glass will be smashed. Like returning from the other end of the city at 1.30 am and not worrying about safety on the subway. Like waiting on the street at 2 am downtown and not caring about the guy walking nearby with a hood over his head. Toronto.
Tags: Toronto New York