Monday, August 30, 2010

little journey to big apple

I know I haven't written for a long time, and I'm aware of the fact that I did not write from New York. I should have, but I couldn't, due to some technical and personal obstacles. And when I came back, my parents went on holiday, and I practically lived with B. at her apartment. Hence my absence for three months.

Now, before writing about anything related with my life in Ankara, I'd like to note some memorable times of my trip to NYC, which are in fact too many to remember all at once, but I'll cite just a few and keep it limited to rather unique moments, such as...

The moment when I first laid eyes on the Flat Iron Building, though I didn't realize there was a Gormley sculpture on top of it... The moment when, looking for the nearest Starbucks, I found myself in Gayborhood, in the middle of Stonewall Place... The moment when I watched squirrels tumbling head over tail in Washington Square Park, and the moment when I watched the sunset at Bryant Park... The moment when I drank the very first Jose Cuervo of my life... The moments I saw the works of Pannini, Van Gogh, Manet, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, the great Cartier-Bresson... The moment when I entered the Majestic Theater, and then, when the Phantom of the Opera entered the stage on his gondola... The half hour when I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in the rain... The picnic at the Central Park with Derya, my host, and the moment we found Bethesda Fountain after a long walk...

The moment I met my friend Arelis for the first time in 10 years, after which we spent hours in the Strand, by far the best bookstore I've seen... Surely the moments when I looked down from the top of the Empire State with my dear friend Alison, and all the moments we had together, from taking pictures at the High Line Park to chatting on the gigantic steps of the Post Office across from Madison Square Garden to sharing oysters at the Grand Central Station... Especially the moment we kissed each other goodbye... Also the moment when I heard Yvonne's voice after such a long time...

Most of these moments were documented either by camera or camcorder, but there's one part of my vacation that I could not document nor could I ever leave aside to be forgotten: the view of the ocean from up above...

Thinking back, the whole experience was wonderful, and I'm glad I did it at this time of my life. The only -relatively- bad memory I have of New York is rudeness of some people towards strangers. The woman at the ticket booth of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the man checking tickets in the Empire State - these were two examples, and perhaps I should feel lucky to meet not so many of them, but they were rude enough to register themselves in my memory.

Finally, let me give a piece of advice to those who plan to fly to NYC: Shuttle is the best way to travel from JFK to where you'll be staying. You get to see the whole city on the way. I remember thinking "I wouldn't mind if I had to go back tomorrow, now that I've seen almost all of it."


  1. I hope the rudeness you experienced from those two individuals doesn't stay in your memory banks for too long.

    I do not know what New York feels like to someone who doesn't live here but you managed to show me that in a few short sentences, the rude episodes included. I think the image of the squirrels in a playful tangle in Washington Square Park is the side of the city I most adore. That's the part that's most connected to nature. There's a quiet beauty about it all, where no one is rushing past each other in the crowded streets or subways and you can take a breath and appreciate living for a few seconds.

  2. i felt sincerely embarrassed by the way that man treated you when we were at the empire state building, deeply embarrassed that my fellow countryman could be so incredibly unkind to a complete stranger and a guest to the city. it stuck in my mind too, as one of those unpleasant things that happen which illustrate another side of things, one that i've experienced too in new york city. it's one of the reasons i keep away from too big a dose of the city. but it can happen anywhere, actually.

    you are a fierce and tender flower, s. i'm so happy we had the opportunity for such a beautiful day together. it was one of the highlights of my summer, that's for sure. i feel incredibly grateful that you included me in your circle of friends to visit while you were here, and i hope that i can come to ankara to see you and b in the not-too-distant future.