Friday, April 24, 2009

John does Manhattan:

I have somehow managed to find a somewhat inexpensive direct (both there and back) flight from AMS to JFK. Hello, Manhattan! I will be leaving the land of tiny May 3rd–and returning May 11th. Ten whole days in New York City. This really shouldn't be this exciting. It's just that that city, right now, in my mind, feels so glamorous. And so many of my friends live there, too. It will be strange to see a reflection of lives I could be having in the USA right now, had I not moved away. I've never understood Europeans' fascination with New York City. But then again, many of them take their own continent's ever so stunning capitals for granted. I know Dutchies and other continental who've never even been to Scandinavia. Why not? It's stunning. But then again, it was, is, and perhaps always will be, a fascinating place. I understand the European fascination with it, just as Americans nostalgicize Europe. Tiny streets, cobblestones, gas lit lampposts–check. These are environments that Americans sometimes go to great lengths to recreate. It's fascinating, New York City, that is. Completely different than anything Europe has to offer. I guess the grass is always greener. I've been researching the city, and came across this explanation of it: 'The city is a giant social experiment in cross-cultural harmony'. It's so fun to think of it that way. I grew up with people of every cultural background around me. I don't think I've ever realized that was such a strong aspect of the USA, until now. Its diversity, that is. Strange how those revelations work out sometimes–eh? I can't wait to sit in plazas for hours, just watching people. I almost have a blank schedule; I have nothing planned. And during that time, I'll be looking at my own country, in a different, more objective perspective.