Video still by Eric Fischer
NYC: A city that is dead serious about yellow taxis, car horns, smoking, noise, fashion, firemen & late night diner food.
As soon as I step out of the plane in Newark, NJ, I am in full sensory overload.
The stifling, muggy heat is a shock to my system. It reminds me of Toronto in mid-August during an unbearable heat wave.
The city is sticky. My flip flops slap against the side walk and actually stick for a fraction of a second, until they get a dunk in something wet. I’m hoping it’s left over rain water. *crosses fingers*
Before coming to NYC, the only things I knew about the city came from flagrant fictional tales spun by the writers of movies and tv shows like Sex and the City. But what about the real NYC?
New Yorkers seem to have a very strong attachment to their city, something you just don’t see in Canada. I certainly felt immense pride during the 2010 Olympics, but six weeks later I’m already looking to ditch my hometown for the opportunities and sunny weather of the cities in SoCal.
My first taste of New York City pride is in Little Italy. It’s the stuff of dreams: Bold, brash, and colourful with the smell of Italian Roast and pungent pizza pies lingering in the stagnant air. I am tempted by wafting scent of mozzarella and oregano, but ultimately pulled inside by indulgent pastry display at Ferrera’s Bakery and Cafe.
The cheerful waitress is happy to fill my plate with Canollis, Neapolitans, & everything and anything stuffed with sweet creamy cheesy goop. Mmm.
Bada Bing is right. After gorging on sugary snacks, I take a stroll down the back streets of Little Italy. Enter John Jovino, the oldest gun shop in America. If the pictures of deer with target marks splotched between their innocent eyes displayed in the store front didn’t give you the warm and fuzzies then the vast array of weaponry sure would.
This shop scared me.
At some point Little Italy merged with Chinatown and a strange zone of nothingness that no one had bother claiming.
No-man’s land in between Chinatown, Little Italy & SoHo.
No one except monstrous, multilevel parking lots that reminds me of my beloved Hot Wheels Parking Garage set I had when I was a kid. Except this fun game charged you $10.50 per half hour! And I thought parking prices in downtown Vancouver were ridiculous.
Insane vertical parking-lot fills the void.
At this point, I am dying for some Air-Con and a Starbucks. Just as my mouth started watering for a skinny, half-sweet Chai Latte, a Starbucks magically appears right before my eyes. That seems to happen more and more these days.
Starbucks on Canal St, Chinatown.
Douchy Starbucks’ drink in hand, I set off to explore Chinatown. The combination of smells and noises on this sweltering day, is not for the faint at heart. Most of the knee-jerking aromas are difficult to pin-point, but if I have to wager, I’d bet on something fishy, or as the picture below suggests, once ducky. :(
After a moment of silence for my fine feathered friends and purchasing a gorgeous pashmina scarf for $5 –is that even legal?– I press on to SoHo.
The scent of hot dogs & pretzels drift down Broadway St. as high-end shops mingle with discount boutiques in one of the best shopping areas in Manhattan.
Broome & Broadway in Soho.
Being useless at shopping for anything other than electronics, I look for someone to guide me in the right direction. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the girls of Sex & the City: The Real World. Unfortunately, they have little time to talk as they are on Red Alert for a “cute pair of this season’s to-die-for strappy sandals.”
Shop til you drop gfs!
Unsuccessful at finding anything wearable I turn my attention to SoHo for my newly acquired NYC sport: Model watching.
The tall, leggy beauties dance among the mortals, draped in expensive swaths of cloth, cigarette in one hand, $3K handbag in the other.
The day is closing out and I’m due at a Mashable shin dig in TriBeCa. I hop in a taxi that gets stuck in traffic on the same 3 blocks for 30 minutes RRR.
$20 later I arrive 5 blocks farther where the NY tech scene is gathering to celebrate Mashable’s new NY Office.
I have a few too many “just surprise me” drinks and end up taking skewed artsy pictures of men in suits.
4 hours later we are all packed into a diner, kitty corner to the 14th St. Apple store. What a trip!
Though I didn’t venture in the direction of Time Square due to the crazy bomb scare, I feel like I took in a lot of the city.
NYC is a photographer’s paradise with both the city and it’s people as potential muses.
A city that seems to strike both stereotypical poses…
and surreal ones…
And with that I bid adieu to the city that never sleeps… I’m tired and need longer than a New York minute to recover. Back to the frozen north I go…
Timbits in hand :)