When Henry Hudson arrived in 1609 few could possibly have anticipated the legacy he would leave behind. From humble beginnings, New York City has developed into the greatest metropolis on the planet.
Far from the crime ridden cesspit portrayed in films from the 1970s, New York has cleaned up its act. Many visitors are pleasantly surprised at the new found order and obedience within the present city.
Few places can compare for modern human spirit, depicted perfectly in the mass gathering of human emotion that is the New York City Marathon. Sunset in Central Park is the motivation for training.
But New York is also a place for individuals. The mammoth manmade canyons – a consequence of New York’s endeavour to reach the sky with its epic buildings – provide a space to reflect on its worldwide fame.
For many New Yorkers the sun can prove pretty elusive. The rousing skyscrapers shroud the Big Apple in shadow for much of the time.
For the tourists however, New York is blessed with iconic landmarks on every corner. Make your way to the summit of the Empire State Building to witness a magnificent 360-degree view that is the glory of Manhattan.
Art lovers should make their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and revel in its noble works from America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Alternatively you may try the more enigmatic collections housed at the Museum of Modern Art and purchase eccentricities within the gallery stores.
If you’re fortunate to be in town at Christmas, don’t miss the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting including the wonderful festivities. New York captures the full Christmas flavour; maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to see some snow.
The bottom line is New York – and Manhattan in particular – is a living organism. The city that gave the world legends such as Miles Davis, Irving Berlin and Martin Scorsese quite literally shakes you by the shoulders and pushes you into the 21st century.
Many have succumbed and sought refuge in this vibrant theatre. John Lennon, Andy Warhol and the great lady herself, The Statue of Liberty – a gift from Paris – have all yielded to the cities charm.
When you find yourself entering the gates of New York for the first time, ignore the lousy coffee, New Yorkers’ dress sense, and the constant irritation of ‘wacky’ mobile phone ring tones. Just take a breath, grab a seat and go along with the ride.