Central Park

The Big Apple

May 24, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

“Living in New York City is like dating a comedian: fun while it lasts, but when it’s over, man, is it over.”

I came across this quote the other day and it took me a split second to realize that the moment I left New York was precisely the moment I started missing it.

Three months ago this year, I left home for a trip to New York City when it was still in its wintery entirety of glistening white. It was just NYC and me. We had no history between us, we had no family to travel with, and we had no plans. There was the occasional snow and even a few puddles that got in our way, but having said that, the sight of us being together for the first time was beautiful. It was complete. It was certain. In fact everything about it was fantastic, and even as I look back, I know I couldn’t have possibly asked for more.

Okay, I’m done with this romantic act right now, but hands down, for a solid eleven out of ten times, I’d gladly admit that New York is better than any ex-lover, because New York, I would go back to you anytime.

Visiting NYC during the cold and snow wouldn’t normally be the ideal holiday for anyone. There are no snow-capped mountains to drive to, let alone skiing down fresh slopes or visiting dying glaciers. But winter in NYC emanates a unique feeling (or vibe, if you may) that seems to be unspoken of in the real world, rendering it unfortunately less well-known than NYC’s lovely metropolitan summers. In hopes of giving winters in NYC the attention they deserve, here is my take on its crunchy core. Imagine the “crunch” being the sound of stepping on packed snow.

WINTER WONDERLAND

There weren’t snow-capped mountains to see, but there were snow-capped acres of wood that seemed to run on for miles at Central Park – a spectacular sight for a tourist’s fair brow like myself. Situated smack in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park stunned me by out-performing its counterparts on the street scene, which sadly became comparatively mundane and monotonous (The Plaza Hotel and Columbus Circle, to be more specific). The view looked like a piece of canvas art that would have been entitled “Winter Wonderland” in a bold, golden, cursive font.  So needless to say, the area’s “wow factor” left me breathlessly in awe. How does nature work like this?

Central Park

It doesn’t just stop there. Even a quick meander on the outskirts of Central Park gave me the most contented feeling, because laying tired feet on soft layers of fresh snow is an indescribable feeling. I was also lucky enough to start a good couple of mornings aimlessly wandering along Central Park’s winding paths, which allowed me to witness a marathon, coo at adorable dogs (and owners hahaha), and get lost trying to find the ice rink. I clearly had a (snow)ball.

Everyone knows the classic scene of snowflakes making their way from the edge of the sky down to the tip of your toes in Times Square. A typical cliche. And its almost lost its magic after relentlessly appearing on Hollywood films, on top of being an overly romanticised situation in itself. What they don’t tell you about, however, is how the sky turns into a purplish gray in a matter of minutes right before the snowflakes start tumbling down. And what they don’t show you is how dancing shadows of snow and smoke and people are superimposed upon each other, and are casted onto the cemented pavements, which eventually become wet and shimmery with mud. It is a kind of beauty that’s different from the rest of its class, on the other side of the spectrum of beauty (if there were a spectrum for all the beautiful sights you’ve ever encountered in life). The sight soothed and excited my pulsing veins all at the same time. It had me standing on my tippy toes and my stomach turning inside out all at once.

NYFW

This is a detour, but please let me mention the fact that NYFW SS/15 was just nearing its end when I arrived. First, we have to talk about the futuristic Mercedes Benz Fashion Week box (that I wasn’t allowed in). It was the epitome of modernistic, minimalistic architecture. It also got disassembled by the time I left New York, which really reinforced the idea of the fleeting nature of fashion trends (and everything else in the world, really). Second, life is at its best when you can just casually come across four beautiful men running late for their show, dressed in all black, wolving down their breakfast croissants. Guys like them are probably the only reason I check Tumblr.

Brooklyn

After spending a good amount of time in Manhattan, I also had the wonderful opportunity to visit NYC’s most populous borough, Brooklyn, for a day. In the words of my roommate from high school, with whom I got to spend a childish and adventurous day, Brooklyn was going to be one “hipster and quirky” destination. Although we didn’t get to see much of it, the parts we did see lived up to our expectations and were, indeed, very “hipster and quirky”.  Streets were adorned with beautiful window panels and little boutiques, and accompanied by pastel low-rise buildings, each equipped with traditional fire escapes. There was something rather genius about the way the metal beams were positioned and the directions they turned in that gave off an impression of tessellation and symmetry. Also, graffiti was always just around the corner, which made me feel like surprises were following me while I navigated my way around the nooks and crannies of this loveable area.

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I could go on and on about my experience in this large unsuspecting fruit, but I’ll save the rest for later. Just know that in the Big Apple, live gigs are extremely relaxing, croissants are extremely buttery, and bookshops are extremely ubiquitous. Happiness (at least, for me).

Last but not least, huge shout out to my amazing best friend, who currently studies on the other side of the planet, for letting me live with her at her residence at the beautiful and breathtaking Lincoln Centre during my stay.

There is so much beyond the a-peel of the Big Apple.

- By Emma Tsoi




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