In april, while doing some work stuff in Maryland, my beau thing and I visited NYC as a daytrip on one of my weekends. I’d only visited there once before, and it was in high school, as a band trip, and the whole thing was planned out. Vastly different experiences and mindsets.

In the first trip it was planned and I had no investments in it. “OK we’re going here now cool.” And I had no sense of anything. “Manhattan? Sounds fun I guess *brushes hair out of eyes* ” How could I appreciate it? I was in high school.

The second trip, 13ish years later, was exceptional. Where the first one was only an event, the second affected me – I chose to go there, I’d met people from there, I’d formed an opinion of the whole city from what I’d learned about it, I was coming from a place of, for all intents, as far away culturally in the US as you can get. I’ve been around the block just enough to not really be culture shocked any more (how can I when I saw a mom in China hold her kid over a sewer grate in the street when he had to shit), but at the same time, I was affected by the city, and I was aware of it. I felt it.

I was talking later with a coworker who’d lived there for a while. I was describing how I felt and he said something to the effect of it’s hard to live there and not hustle.

The energy there, with all the people, noise pollution, buildings…was tangible. I was only there for about 24 hours and it was probably one of the most influential single 24 hour period in my life. I wanted to paint and study art, I wanted to be an architect to study the buildings, I wanted to build things, I wanted to start a business, I wanted to do all the things.

That energy has faded away, sadly, as it’s hard to maintain it living where I do. There’s no energy here. I believe the cows feed off it, and the flies, in turn, feed off them.

It was a great city. A place like none other I’ve been to. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Although, I only went to Manhattan, and only the area of around Mid-town at that. So, huge grain of salt.