Back to base since yesterday, still living in NY time, head and eyelids heavy from jet lag; slept at noon after a long, noisy white night sitting on a fully booked Airbus A330-300, one row behind two crybabies – one of which must have cried for five out of seven-and-a-half hours flight. Determined to remain calm despite the annoyance, I submerged myself in Jet Airways’ extensive videotheque. First movie to get me going: John Madden’s ”The best exotic Marigold Hotel” starring two of my favourite actors, Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, alongside a strong ensemble including the great Maggie Smith. Feel-good vibe with a touch of bittersweet, perfect for in-flight entertainment. Crybaby giving no sign of remission, remedied by second film: ”Roman Holiday”, the 1953 movie starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and the city of Rome as a backdrop. A princess, a reporter, a romantic love story – enough to be on a sugar high until touchdown.
Back to bed at midnight only to wake up at 5 am, my inner clock slowly adjusting; head still heavy, took a double shot of the good ol’ antidote: strong hot coffee.
Weirdly and unforgivably, I had never been to NY before. I traveled to South America a couple of times, but the northern part of the continent remained one of my unexplored territories and NY had become a dream trip. Others dream of Bora-Bora, Nepal or the deepest cave in the Southern Hemisphere – mine was NY.
So with a bit of delay – about 30 years of it – I’ve just spent three amazing weeks in the Big City, barely enough to scrap the surface, understand the basics and capture its rhythm, but it’s a good start. In the coming
weeks months, I will relish the experience by sharing stories, pictures and newfound knowledge picked up from endless walks in those long, wide avenues until my feet no longer responded to any command other than ”sleep”. But first, let’s pick up where we left off – the Brooklyn Bridge.
Crossing from Manhattan, your way will bring you directly to Brooklyn Heights, a classy, quite, residential area with brownstown houses like these:
On your right, you’ll come upon the Brooklyn Bridge Park, a huge urban development spanning across Piers 1-6 with lawns, playgrounds, sports facilities, open to all sorts of cultural and leisure events especially during the summer months.
But the best part of this walk is along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, lined with trees, flower beds and wooden benches, that offers a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.
It seems unreal that right behind me, there were apartments with gardens and balconies – unbelievably – inhabited by mere mortals who, every day, wake up and go to sleep to these views:
New York, 08 June 2014
Photography by Konstantinos Implikian