The Big Apple…
I never had an appeal for big cities. Big cities are loud, crowded and dirty… I probably thought that because I had always lived in peaceful little places.
New York was far from a peaceful little place. It was big. American Big. As soon as we entered Manhattan’s core, I felt like in a Blockbuster movie… The yellow cabs, the well dressed people rushing around on the sidewalks, the neons…
I looked up and I was struck by the agressive height of the skyscrapers. They owned their title, to say the least. I wondered how mankind had managed to build such high structures so close to each other.
We walked around for a while, coming across familiar street names. We visited a few stores, and then you suggested to go see the World Trade Center. To be honest, I knew it by name, no more. But you seemed to be very interested in it, so we managed our way in the street maze and got to the majestic twin towers.
We wandered at the feet of the towers, in the middle of the different stands, the workers in a hurry and the tourists. We wanted to see the city from the top of one of the towers, but being a perfect fall day, sunny and warm, the visitors were many, and the wait was a bit discouraging. We thought we’d always have the chance to come back, New York wasn’t that far from Québec anyway. How wrong…
Instead, we went back outside and I took many pictures of the buildings, trying to capture their headspinning height. A plane flew close to the World Trade Center, and I managed to catch it at the very moment it showed up in between the towers in the background deep blue sky. I didn’t know back then what that picture would mean to me only a week after taking it.
We decided to buy ourself a souvenir of this improvised stop in the Big Apple. I chose a huge (HUGE, I mean, American-sky-is-the-limit huge) felt top hat. As if it wasn’t bold enough by its size, it was paying a tribute to the USA, bearing stars and red white and blue strips… Really swell you know?
We picked up on our random walking, and we saw Lady Liberty from afar. Really not that impressive. You had had the best pick with the WTC. But at least, now we could say we had seen her!
We kept exploring like two French spies in the heart of New York, until the sun started to come down. I say that, but we just guessed it was setting by the darkness that was slowly filling the streets. We found our way back to the parking and to my little foxy VW, on its 4 tires still, thank God!