New York: Part I

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In New York,

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,

 There’s nothing you can’t do,

Now you’re in New York,

These streets will make you feel brand new,

The lights will inspire you,

Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York

I know you are singing right now. I mean, how can you not! I’ve been singing this song over and over again in my head for five hours…The five hours that took me away from Washington, DC and closer and closer to New York. Five hours, sitting on a bus, trying to fall asleep when all I could think about was New York, New York, New York…

Oh shoot, Oh my God, OH MY GOD! These are the exact words that I used when I set foot outside of the bus and looked up to face a huge building that had at least 50 floors. Of course, most of my friends made fun of me as, apparently, in Asian countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, buildings that are that tall are not uncommon. Well, excuse the humble Moroccan girl who’s never faced a building that was taller than 10 floors (except for the Twin Center that is quite near to where I live in Casablanca but still, it’s “only” 28 floors)! It was 5 AM when we got out of the bus. Yet, any of us could have sworn it was 7 or 8PM. People were everywhere, cars where everywhere…New York really is the city that never sleeps.

We walked for about one hour, heading towards the famous Times Square. One hour of pure amazement and admiration. I didn’t believe people when they told me that walking around New York’s streets is an attraction itself. But when I saw those lights, those buildings, the sun slowly rising up behind the skyscrapers…I can assure you that I forgot all about the fact that I was tired or that I didn’t sleep. I wanted to keep wandering around for the rest of the trip. I wanted to stay in New York for the rest of my stay in the US. Just one hour was enough to make me realize that I didn’t want to set foot again in DC. This is the United States of America that I’ve seen in movies, in TV shows or even just in pictures. This is the reason why I decided to come to the US at the first place.

Then Times Square… just a bunch of billboards and huge buildings and lights everywhere, but it’s Times Square! The place where the famous New Year’s Eve ball falls down. The place where you can feel that you are freer that ever. I wanted to stay there until the sun would fully shine on the city but we had to go to the apartment that we rented in order to check in and put there all of the heavy stuff that we were carrying with us. One surprise after the other, we realized that in order to get to the apartment (which was in Harlem by the way), we had to cross Central Park. Oh my God Central Park! I was actually inside Central Park! I really don’t know how to describe what I was feeling at that precise moment but all I can say is that watching the sun rise in Central Park in definitely a better deal than doing it in Times Square. Simply breathtaking! However, since we were in a rush, we finally decided to take the subway. I think that this is the worst experience that I’ve had in New York. I carry some bitter memories with New York’s public transportation system but I really don’t mind considering all the fun that I had in that magical place. I might say that the only good thing about the subway there is that it is extremely cheap compared to DC. Actually everything is cheaper in New York compared to DC (another reason why I didn’t want to come back, besides how boring DC is). Anyway, right after we settled down and put our stuff in the apartment, we headed directly to the number one thing that each one of us came to New York to see: the Statue of Liberty…

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