Tuesday, 7 February 2012

It’s Teeny Tiny Compared to the Big Apple BUT it is Home

This is a post to distract you from my lack of photos that I am yet to tantalise you with. And also to reflect on what I have and what I wish to have.

Brisbane feels so small town after seeing the big apple that is New York. It’s nice and all and I guess it will have to do but there is something about famous big cities. Something draws you in and you feel like you are a part of something special, something important – you feel big.

I love my little big city don’t get me wrong – but it is what I have always had. It is simply human nature to want what we do not have. To reach for something higher, to search for something more and to be something better.

But what I love about being home; even more so now that I have experienced the kindness of New Yorkers and Americans alike. I love knowing my city. I love knowing the shortcuts, the little gems within the city, the streets, the places, the public transport and the best of everything. I love being able to help a person with directions – finding a building, a bus, a train, a taxi, a street or a store – I’ll point you in the right direction. I love that feeling of belonging, of helping and of locality.

Only five days in New York and I was almost feeling like I belonged. I simply cannot get over the well thought out organisation of the place. So linear and clear – why not name streets numbers – it seems so logical. Avenues go one way, streets go the other, Fifth Avenue splits East and West – that’s all you need to really know and soon enough you’re masquerading as a home grown New Yorker.

I have always had a soft spot for my city layout though – female monarch streets go vertically across and male monarchs go horizontally across and the main street (or mall) is of course “Queen St.” It still isn’t as logical but I think it is a nice little quirk.
Then one pedestrian bridge away lays a beach, a little sanctuary in the heart of my city called South Bank and a growing cultural precinct. It is one of my personal favourites and a place I will never tire of its’ beauty and distinction.

Then I saw the beauty that is Central Park – a sanction of green, peace and harmony in the heart of Manhattan; amongst the iconic skyscrapers and the bustle of cars and people. I walked that iconic and utterly unique, breathtaking beauty that is Brooklyn Bridge and gazed at a postcard view of Manhattan. Maybe New York has won again. And the towering lights of Times Square? Well that is just a whole new world. Can you imagine – all those shows playing every night for a steal of a price – New Yorkers are treated like kings and queens! No wonder locals have what could be deemed a superiority complex – they have a right to in my opinion. They are in arms reach of everything; they have been given beauty, convenience, quality and kindness amongst miles of concrete splendour.

But what of my Brisbane and its’ small city virtues? I love the mall, I love sitting along the banks of the river and gazing at my city skyline, I love the independent coffee shops and the baristas that greet you with a passionate smile, I love the Botanic gardens although teeny tiny compared to Central Park, I love being able to walk from one end of the city to the other, I love the weekly farmers markets, I love the fresh air, I love its’ ability to know who it is, to be big when it wants to and to shine when it matters most. Little Brisbane is my home; New York is the dream; London is the call. So many cities yet to taste, so many places untouched, so many skylines yet to see. One day I will be able to help out a tourist through the streets of New York, one day I will be getting my usual morning coffee before boarding the Tube in London; one day I will be working for places all over the world and one day I will return home with knowledge of thousands, an appreciation of places and a sense of knowing, a sense of belonging.

The great Sinatra got it right about New York, New York –

“My little town blues, they are melting away”

I’ll post photos up tonight - and just to make sure I do – I promise on the bright lights of New York City (that will definitely motivate me).


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