What can I say about New York that hasn’t already been said, sung or seen? If you’ve never been to New York let me tell you a little bit about it that you many not know.
When you’re in the city there is a constant hum of energy that flows through the air, through the people and either feeds you or drains you. You feel it and it can be invigorating as you walk through the crowds, watch people do what they do and lend yourself to the perpetual event that is New York. I don’t know how else to describe it. You actually FEEL the city.
If you’re like me, and got here a lot, you learn to accept this energy, prepare for it, let it do its thing and you get to that second layer of New York which is participation layer. You become part of the culture of New York. You learn to use the subway because Taxis are expensive and not always reliable according to where you are and at what time of day you need them. You position yourself to harness the energy there which propels you to go to events, hang with friends and do business like pro.
You filter certain experiences of New York according to whether you’re a gawker or participater. If you’re there to just take in the sights, that’s fine, you’re more of a gawker and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you like to be entertained, exposed to the amazing and unusual, then New York should be your #1 destination. The down side of that is that you don’t really submerge yourself in New York culture, thus you don’t understand that when someone comes across as cynical, or even rude they’re actually just trying to save themselves time and frustration by getting to the point.
I recall one of my first visits to New York when someone told me to get out of the way and I immediately moved and apologized. Now, when someone pushes me and tells me to get out of the way I say, “Screw you, you don’t own the sidewalk,” and I hold my own. My good friend Charina, who is a Brooklyn native, tells me that I’m an honorary New Yorker because I’ve been in New York so often I’ve learned to adapt and embrace. And I’ve learned to grow thick skin and not give a crap about people being frustrated with me.
New York is exciting. It’s a place where anything can happen. I’ve met famous people, homeless people, artists, actors, writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, salesmen, the list goes on. If it’s worth doing, making or talking about then you can find it in New York.
I have my favorite places to go of course. I love love love the Flatiron Building. Any excuse to go there and I’m there. I LOVE visiting MacMillan Publishing, especially my friends at Tor/Forge who are always so gracious and kind. And, who have amazing authors and books! There’s a little park not far from the Flatiron and I’ll go there to people watch before or after meetings. There’s always something going on there. I love attending BEA at the Javits even though the Javits is not one of my favorite buildings. I love visiting the little park my friend Victoria helps create when she lived there in the 1980’s. I love walking around 42nd Street, I love Broadway and try to see a play whenever I can. I love visiting my friend Charina in Brooklyn. People in Brooklyn are very unique and I love it there so much I’d live there in a (you guessed it) New York minute!
I went to Ground Zero not even a year after 9/11. Posters looking for missing loved ones still covered building walls, not yet faded, the ink or the memory. I’ve gone every year since, but this year was the first time I got to go to the new memorial and it was a bit overwhelming to see it all. I will certainly go again.
I’m fortunate that I have friends in publishing and the arts. I was able to go backstage when War Horse was playing and I got to see the puppets and meet the cast. I’ve gone backstage a few times and it’s always a thrill. I’ve had conversations with the most amazing people about art and politics and fashion. I’ve talked to Neil Patrick Harris about the correct way to spell “Sheila” (his mom’s name is Sheila as well), I’ve talked to Cory Doctorow about playing World of Warcraft (his wife is a better gamer than he is btw), I’ve talked to Stephen Amell from Arrow and told him my husband would be so jealous because I got to meet him and he didn’t. I’ve met and hung out with famous authors and brilliant business people. New York is a hub of adventure and a thrill ride of a lifetime.