It was love at first sight. New York has never lost its attraction, fascination and this feeling of butterflies in my stomach since we met the very first time almost 25 years ago. I mean, born on July 4th, I was always meant to be here. It wasn’t always clear if I could ever afford living this dream though...... in a city where people either live in huge apartments (with their parents) or in closets (with two significant others). I wonder why at least the financial aspect seams to be completely irrelevant for thousands and thousands of moneyless artists (talented and not talented), dreamer and visionaries (with or without a job), who come to New York and make it work. New York is one-of-a-kind, breath taking. To 8.5 million people that is home. To the rest of the world it is a destination at the top of their bucket list.
In this city with all its facets of craziness , opportunities and dreams come true or shattered, nothing can ever be too big or colorful. and nothing is ever too much of anything. I guess this is what fascinates me the most about New York City. So I can guarantee walking through the streets of Manhattan you will not see two people who even look remotely similar. People going back and forth from work, people who set their fashion impression straight in-your-face, kids running to school and you see dog walkers all over the place. Real New Yorkers are poodles at heart, in fact the data shows that one in seven households have a pub under the roof, more than 85.000 dogs are registered.However If your anything like me you like to people watch and the city is the best place to do it. With everyone's differences you can literally make up countless stories of who they are and where they've been. You never feel lonely, if you don’t have a party just date your city you will always feel excited, inspired and entertained.
5400 Skyscraper, more than 180 languages and the only place in the United States where Americans actually walk instead of drive. Just 23 % own a car in Manhattan. And those who have one, despair of it. They got stuck in the traffic over hours and are looking for a parking spot the rest of the day. Both driving as well as parking is a bolt and nerve racking venture.
The good thing is, you can explore the city without street maps and it is not geographically challenging at all. With the grid system it is almost impossible to get lost. You just follow the numbers up or down until u get to where you need to be. Easy.
That being said I walked around for hours, days and weeks and I have still the feeling there are endless things to explore so many more people to meet. Just armed with my camera and recorded interviews on my smartphone I try to draw a picture of New York the most honest, authentic and romanticized as possible.
Lots of books are written, lots songs are composed about New York. Thousands of TV shows and films are taking place in New York. There might be a reason. In fact, this book is a declaration of love to the most fascinating and epic city