Warning: this post is about me and my relationship with the city, it is not intended to be a tourist post, and Ivo's view of the city is in the wonderful photographs taken by him.
I'am an Englishman in New York, or for me i'm a Viennese in New York, I'am an alien. New York, dammit, is part of the imagination of almost all of us. How many movies, how many series have we seen filmed here? How many songs about the city that never sleeps? For many a city of clichés. But I didn't go expecting to see anything, I didn't have any obligations in my script.
Let's go back to the topic of Vianense, I'm from Viana do Castelo. Anyone from there knows what that means, a huge wheeze. It's a small town, so when we meet someone who knows someone from Viana, we immediately ask: “who?”, as if we all knew each other. We thought for a while and then asked: do you know if you went to Liceu or Monserrate? That defines a lot right away.
When I arrived in New York I felt a huge individualism, people are concerned with their lives and their rhythms. No one knows who we are, if we're out and about, living here, let alone trying to find someone who lives in this city by the school they went to. I felt small, I felt that my importance in this world and in the universe is even the size of a particle. New Yorkers are in their world, but, on the other hand, as soon as we ask them, they will stop, listen and help, then they could be from Viana. We stopped a photographer from the Daily News who was walking at a very fast pace and although we could feel the rush in his voice, he not only answered our question but also gave us advice.
We arrived on the day when the Agony parties ended, and my social media had already been filled with expressions of pride #somostodromaria #vianaéamor #quemgostavemquemamafica #seriaumaagonianãoiraaromaria, I felt far from home. So I entered New York complaining, I don't like big cities. The humidity and heat that were felt only helped to intensify this bad mood.
We tried to park in New Jersey, difficult, we got lost, but we did it there. We went into town and walked: 9th Avenue, Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Empire State in the distance.
The next day, we went back and walked: Chelsea. Brooklyn bridge, Brooklyn park, ferry boat near the Statue of Liberty. And New Yorkers with their eyes on the sky. It was the eclipse of the sun.
And on the fourth day we started walking again, accompanied by the bride and groom from our first wedding: Central Park, city hall, museum of natural history.... We ended the wedding exhausted but happy and our homesickness for Viana was lost in the hustle and bustle.
We still had to visit the 9/11 memorial. As I mentioned, I don't intend to write a script about New York. But I have to tell you about memory. Michael Harad, Israeli-American architect was responsible for the project. And it is a different, emblematic place that has a meaning so unique to each one. Art inspires. It's a cube practically at ground level, so we look inside. The water falls into another smaller cube where we can't see the bottom and leaves us thinking about the meaning of all this and how the 11th of September 2001 changed those who lived it forever. Visit, there are actually 2 large cubes, one in place of each tower.
We went back to our mammoth, went to Duna, who ended up not visiting New York and stayed in New Jersey with the best pet sitter ever.
In New Jersey, we ended our dinner visit with a view over New York. The relationship between New Jersey and New York is a bit like that of Gaia and Porto. The reality is that Gaia has the best of Porto: the view. We went to Del Fresco's Grill in Hoboken. New Jersey is different from what we've seen in the movies at times. It's cool, modern, quiet,... Del Fresco's has an American menu that we love, with various types of steaks and delicious side dishes. And to finish off an espresso and a 6-layer lemon cake, exactly, not suitable for diabetics.
And if the reality is that I entered New York complaining, in the end I was willing to take on the challenge of living here for a year, as they say “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. Maybe he would move to New Jersey.
All photos with Fujifilm xt2