Its wondrous how one can be lucky at the most unexpected times. These are those little instances, when you embrace each experience with open arms and a heart, empty of desires and filled only by happiness and gratitude for life.
Early and restless on the couch, I was lucky as New York gave me a welcome surprise with this beautiful morning sight.
The morning sunlight kissed the city to wake up from the mirage of material living and delve deeper into soul searching for happiness and inspiration.
As I got down in my pyajamas to the morning chill, Manhattan was already buzzing in the 7am light. There were those suited up and set to work, while there were also those who shared whispers with their kids at walk.
As the cool breeze swayed past, a carefree smile covered my face and I was delighted to be warmed under the covers of the rising sun. That moment, that sweet little time away from the buzz, in that corner of end Manhattan was so mine.
Thank You New York for a beautiful beginning.
This serene start, pumped me with excitement to unfold the much talked about corners of the majestic city. The restless me, sipped the tea and loaded the backpack with cookies to hop onto the earliest ferry to take my first ride down south.
Finding my corner at the open deck of the ferry, I set sail under the blue sky for a day packed in wonder and joy. Little did I believe, there I was, opening myself to the largest city of the world.
Talking to strangers on board, I got directions to my final stop. One of them, curiously questioned – “So, you travelling alone?” I nodded a yes. “You are a brave girl to be in New York City all by yourself” – smiled the 40 something man looking at me. Unsure of my reaction to this, I smiled to believe. In myself and in the potential friends around. I was proud of where I had gotten to be. I stood there by the corner, encompassing a view similar to those etched in my memory from the bollywood movies that gave me a sneak peek into the western world. Oh Yes! I am in New York City baby 🙂
As the ferry moved from port to port, I was introduced to what I’d like to call the different shades of New York.
The buzz of the rising financial district in the east
I reached the final stop and was amazed to find an eery deserted silence around (unlike even in the not-so-famous districts of India which are crowded with atleast 10 people per sq metre). I really wondered whether I landed at the right place – to what they call the financial district of the country.
Firstly, to ease out, taking directions to check off the Statue of Liberty from my list of touristy things to do, I walked long and far for a free ferry ride by the monument. Skeptical about his one, as supposedly nothing in the world is free, let alone in New York, the on-budget student traveller in me walked long in faith and reached the dock to find many others like me.
So much a buzz, So much new.
I wondered as I clutched tight, where the lanes are taking me to.
And there aghast, I met the Charging Bull.
And whispered a request to click a selfie of the amazing two.
Before moving ahead, I enjoyed a 4$ meal by a small underground buffet restaurant – surely not the best thing to do with the best NYC bistros around, but I enjoyed the experience of paying for the time by the weight of food that went in to my tummy. Interesting stuff!
Gauging at the towering building high, of companies that make into that list of Fortune 500, a church at the corner end and a park (Zuccotti) from no where to beautify.
Finding my way into this place they call the National September Memorial with North and South Pools.
Anger. Cries. Hymns. and a Prayer. Rest in Peace.
Again on the other side of the greens, a lovers sight blooms into a smile.
To make most of this day down south, I took a train next, away from the buzz to the calm realms of the Central Park.
I love this picture. It really captures so much of the unsaid I keep trying to express. On one side lay a bed of riches – the luxury of the world famous Park Plaza Hotel that brought the childhood story of Home Alone flashing back in life, the underground Apple studio flashing right after and an array of fancy boutique stores as Cartier, Prada that one would love to shop from. On the other side, was the serene simplicity by the waters and greens. The many unspoken dialogues that shout out loud lightening the heart over pockets, the love that blossoms with a walk around the bush is probably purer than that at The Plaza’s kingsize bed and the family play over the bridge top undoubtedly makes more natural laughs than that from the latest app on the notebook. Simple ways to Happiness. Difficult now because someone introduced us to money.
Walking miles down the roads into the unknown. No maps to follow for a while. I decided to choose my pathways and my destination. Until I reached this place next.
Somewhere between the 60th and 42nd street. This church was delightful and welcoming. Fond of the silent prayers and hymns of the church, I sat down at the corner of a bench giving my shoulders and legs a little respite.
Interestingly, I reflected all that happened through the day. So much already? Couldn’t believe. I could express nothing but gratitude to the lord above, for such adventure and learnings in this amazing city that colored me with its palette. Color of love, joy and pure happiness.
Even in this corner of the world, prayers are answered, belief and life is bestowed. Nothing was really different. Nothing changed. Except the money bill that got me food to eat and the skin color of those around.
Moving on into some Lights and Bling – at the Rockerfeller Center
I then set to walk to find my final stop for the day. The much awaited. Times Square.
The best way to explore the hidden beauties of any city is finding your way on foot.
Knowing this, I headed towards an attractive looking building on my way. Little did I know, that I landed myself into Grand Central Terminal Station.
Happiness is when, pictures come alive in your wanderings.
Clock ticking fast, after a 30 min walk, I was still on the wrong side of Times Square. Until an old friend and colleague guided me down on call. I found my way to what I’d call the Evening Paradise of the New York City.
Being child like, Disney like, Fun like, Happy like, Crazy like, Just like never before! Colored in the Different Shades of New York!
Happiness is in travelling alone, and in finding who you are.
Save. Travel. Live. Repeat.
To Be Contd..to the last leg at New York City