New York, New York!
NEW YORK, NEW YORK!
Alright, I get it. I FINALLY get it. New York City is an unparalleled, appropriately-hyped, magical place. “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of - there’s nothing you can’t do” --- true fact. There's something about the city that just breathes life into you, and I was lucky enough to spend a whole week in Manhattan. Sometimes I found myself just standing in the streets staring up in disbelief of the size of some of these buildings and their extraordinary architecture. There really is endless things to do and see - all of which completely astonishes a small town Saskatchewan girl like me.
I have to admit, the timing of our trip was just as intriguing as it was dangerous; I would be in New York City during the most controversial Presidential Election in American History. Crazy? Maybe. But shit, I certainly won’t forget where I was when Donald Trump became President of the United States. We were staying right in Times Square - a few blocks away from the Trump Tower where mobs and protesters were collecting outside on the streets. Police officers with assault rifles were littered along every street and standing in each intersection; and the Trump tower was completely blocked off by large trucks on election day. There definitely wasn’t a lack of passion from Americans this election- that’s for damn sure. Standing there in Times Square with thousands of other people watching the election coverage on those massive screens on November 8th - that is something I’ll never forget. Some people were yelling and cursing as the results poured in, others crying, but most of those people along with myself, were staring up at those screens with a blank look on our faces; pure shock. Trump was ahead, and although it was a close race at that point - he was still winning. The reality began to sink in with everyone standing in Times Square and Americans all across the country that Donald Trump may very well be the next President of the United States.
Now, I don’t want to get into a huge political rant about Trump vs. Clinton because that conversation is virtually endless - but what I do want to say is - America so badly wants and needs change. Will Donald Trump BE that change? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that the results are final, and what America needs to do now is have faith and confidence that Donald WILL actually make his best attempt to “make America great again”. Trump is not a “loser”, he loves competition, and he LOVES to win. He certainly wouldn’t want to be a failure on the world’s largest scale, and I truly believe he wants what's best for his country. Is he a clown? Yes. Is he rash and unruly? Absolutely - and those are only the tip of the iceberg - but he’s not entirely an idiot. He may very well be the change America is looking for, as opposed to keeping things on the same level-playing field if Hillary was elected. American’s are tired of just “coasting along”. They want jobs, they want security, and they want to see it in action. So with that said - show us what you got Mr. Trump! You may annoy the living piss out of me and MANY others, but hey - America is your stage now, and the whole world is watching, so let’s see if you can dazzle us with your political acrobatics.
On election night - we went to see Aladdin on Broadway (fantastic - highly recommended!), and afterwards decided to get away from the mob-masses on the streets and sit down for a nice dinner - directly across the the Stephen Colbert CBS studio’s. The restaurant we were in was a classy joint - and there were a good handful of people just sitting up at the bar glued to the TV watching election coverage. The funny part was - every time Hillary would win another district - people would yell out comments like “FUCK YEAH!” and exchange hugs and high-5’s -- did I mention we were in a pretty fancy place? Haha. No matter where you were in New York City on that night, people we're charged with emotion. The election went late and we were pooched from a long touristy day in NYC, and we crashed out before the results were final. The next morning, I woke up only to read the headlines that Donald Trump was indeed, President elect. Holy tap-dancing Jesus.
The chaos of the election didn’t stop us from being typical tourists and experiencing some of the best things New York has to offer. We hit up the Top of the Rockefeller Center, and the views were unsurpassed. We rented a rowboat and took a float through Central Park. Hopped on a ferry and visited Lady Liberty, and of course visited the 9/11 Memorial site. Can I just say that the coffee and the deli’s in New York City are top shelf? I mean, we all know my love for Tim Hortons but shit NYC, you do coffee well. One of my favourite moments though, was sitting outside on the rooftop patio of the Novotel which we had all to ourselves, overlooking the bright lights of Times Square. It was so quiet and calm - overlooking the crowds and the chaos down below. I swear moments like that make the wine taste better.
So New York City, you really did make an impression on me. It really is just one of those places you have to visit to really “get it”. It’s the city where so many iconic movies are filmed, where the biggest parties and galas are held, where great TV and entertainment live and thrive. When you’re watching it all on TV it almost seems surreal, but when you actually go there and walk those streets and experience the hustle and bustle of it all - it makes it all very real.
One more tick to cross off the ol' bucket-list. NYC, I’ll be seeing you again soon.