not a tourist


the first time i went to my city, i was nineteen. i went to visit my dear friend, e, who goes to school in the basement of the empire state building. i stayed with her in her midtown manhattan apartment, and while she was in class, roamed the city on my own (which i wasn’t actually allowed to do, but i digress).20120425-120015.jpg

normally, when i am visiting a new city, i feel like the ultimate tourist, but i didn’t in my city. maybe that happens to everyone the first time they go there? either way, it was incredible. i felt like i belonged. my instincts kept me from getting lost at all, and i never had any need to pull out a map. i did once pull out my phone’s gps to verify i was going the right way, but it was unnecessary. i did sing on the top of my lungs while walking from the subway station to the met in the dark, in the rain, to keep myself from getting too frightened – upon reflection, there was probably a better way to get there.

i saw the words ‘go home, tourists’ written onto the wall of a subway station. i found myself nodding in agreement before i realized that i was one of those tourists. me, who after two days in my city, was giving directions to people utterly lost in central park, or the girls on the train who had no clue what they were doing.

maybe it is my excellent sense of direction that made me feel the way i did. maybe everyone feels that way when they first go to new york city.

regardless, i think i am ready to move, whether my bank account says i am or not.

9 Responses to “not a tourist”

  1. No, I definitely never felt that way when I went to New York. The first time I went, in Thanksgiving ’09, I was with my mom, aunt and nana, who had all been there about 5 times each. It was my first time and we did all the sights (for my benefit) and loads of shopping. We never got lost.

    The second time, xmas ’10 I was with my parents and 11 year old brother. My dad (who had been there loads of times also) took Adrian to the sights while my mom and I went shopping. We got SO lost. We traipsed up and down 5th Avenue for hours looking for shops like Juicy Couture and Abercrombie & Fitch….. We didn’t realise 5th Avenue is miles and miles long. We didn’t think we’d get lost, since we had been to those shops before…

    That being said, I don’t know which way is left most of the time, and my mom isn’t much better 😛

    • Ha, yeah. Manhattan is huge, and you literally have to take the subway to get from one end of the other! I loved the stories you share – you should write about them, with pictures, on your blog (who cares that where were 2 years ago?).

  2. go for it girl you obviously belong there! it is not like you say for everyone, i spent two years in the last place i lived and i still got lost all the time….small town too! having said that, i have no sense of direction…ha!

  3. 7 ladywe

    Moving to New York early next month. We hope we feel the same way. 🙂

  4. I felt exactly the same way when I arrived in NYC for an exchange program with my university… It’s really inexplicable because my English wasn’t so great then and people barely understood me. There’s something about New York that makes you feel like everything is possible and anyone can be part of it. I miss this feeling back in Zurich!

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