The day has come. We have to leave. The holidays are over, the honeymoon is over, no more walks in Williamsburg…..no more exploring in Manhattan and Brooklyn. No time to visit the Bronx or Astoria, or the Queens. We did not go to Washington not to mention that we did not visit a museum! I will have to get used to the fact that I will no longer be warmly greeted when I walk in a shop. I am very sad. I wonder what would happen if we just did not leave? I spent a few hours awake last night thinking about this. What if we both stayed in New York forever? Tanguy could get a job as a CrossFit trainer in Brooklyn, people easily like Tanguy anyway, and I could probably find my way for a job at Saturday Night Live or as an NBC page…… Then again no, that would be a bad idea right? I am very poor to be living in New York with the same lifestyle I am used to in Brussels. We probably would not be able to rent a nice place like the one we stayed in these past few days…. one that has separate rooms. We would have no health insurance, we do not speak Spanish and working and living in New York I am sure is very different than being in New York for holidays. And who in their right mind starts over at 34? In yet another country? Didn’t I already do that? Plus I miss my cat. A LOT. Can you even bring a tiny pet over from Brussels to New York? Probably not. What I can do is start saving up already in order to come visit next year. I am definitely coming back next year. Yes, now that is a realistic plan.
I am looking around our Airbnb, it is full with shopping bags we are packing in advance so that we can do some last minute gift shopping in Brooklyn and have our last New York coffee, for 2018 at least. The flight to Brussels is from Newark so we have to leave early to make sure that we do not miss our flight. The taxi we called is just not showing up which adds up to the stress. Apparently you cannot just get any taxi in Brooklyn there are specific green taxis that you need to call and ours is terribly late so we just jumped on another green taxi that happened to be available not before we (well, I) get on a typical New York fight with the driver behind us (yes, even that was like in the fucking movies only very annoying) On the ride to the airport I manage to see the mural of Banksy, his tribute to the jailed Turkish artist Zehra Doğan* which is situated at Bowery and Houston Street.
And just like that, right in this moment I felt that, that’s it the trip has now a nice ending to it. A complete perfect circle of events and experiences in New York is complete.
What followed that day is the classic and mandatory travel frustrations. Long lines at the airport, a lot of people some of whom trying to get ahead of the others pissing everyone off, getting undressed and getting dressed again in airport checks feeling the pressure of the people behind you (I mean what is that?) having to move things from one luggage to the other to have the allowed weight like that would make a huge difference, airport food, airport coffee , no place to sit, finding uncomfortable places to sit and endless tiredness. When we arrived in Brussels it was eight in the morning and we were both exhausted…. I fell asleep immediately. Once I woke up, late in the evening, I started unpacking took a shower and went out for my first drink back in town. New York was already a memory by then but one I am determined to keep alive for a very long time. They say it goes by fast…….
Things I will remember from New York
🍎 Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the cat that was napping on the window display of a second hand shop close to our Airbnb. I would see him/her every night and that would mean that we were almost home.
🍎 The New York bridges. The Williamsburg bridge which led us to Manhattan every day. The Brooklyn bridge and the Manhattan bridge, the perfect photo spots for your instagram posts and the hypnotising view next to the Brooklyn bridge close to South Street.
🍎 The views form the Empire state building and the Rockefeller centre because you really are on top of the world!
🍎 Walking in Greenwich village, Soho and the lower east side.
🍎 Having beers and talking with Matthew and Rick.
🍎 The street art, the coffee shops and bookshops of Brooklyn
🍎 Doing all of this, with you.
Things that I would not mind forgetting about New York
🤔 How frustrating it was that the subway ticket would not always work, or how I could not find it in my purse.
🤔 The hunt for ATMs and how all of them looked almost fake like someone was scamming us.
🤔 How fast we would spent our money everywhere we’d go. Also, the fact that Bancontact is shit and has meaning only in Belgium.
🤔 How I had to clean the bathroom at our Airbnb on a daily basis because the bathtub was almost clogged and water would take forever to “leave the bathtub”
🤔 Awful hair days and taking for ever to dry my hair due to plug inconsistency and the low energy flowing through my strong hairdryer….. I have Greek hair , what can I do?
🤔 Seeing dead mice on the streets …. yeap, that happened.
Things that I want to do when I go back to New York
😍 Visit at least one museum. I was cocky enough to think that I would see MoMa, the MET, the natural history museum and the Guggenheim during our visit in New York. I saw none. Next time, I hope I will concentrate enough to visit at least the MoMa.
😍 See a drag show. New York has a legendary drag scene!It is a pity I did not get to do this, this time.
😍 See a musical, if I am lucky enough I will get to go back when Mean Girls is still “on”
😍 Spend more time in Soho because I feel I did not get to spend a lot of time in this area. I mean I did not go into EVERY shop so….
😍 See more of Brooklyn
😍 Spend more time with Matthew !!!!!
Until then, I will always try to keep New York vivid in my mind & heart.
* You can read about the mural and more about the story of Zehra Doğan here