New York, New York
by Cristina Abad Navarro
It had been raining all morning and the windows were too steamy to see anything outside. As the bus was approaching my most dreamed-of destination, I had butterflies in my stomach. Ever since I was a teenager New York City had been my favourite place on the planet. I was sure that if I had the opportunity of going there, I would instantly fall madly in love with it.
It was through Frank Sinatra’s songs that I learnt to love the city that never sleeps. I could easily imagine myself walking along 5th Avenue, having a Sunday lunch in Central Park, watching the Phantom of the Opera in Broadway, blinded by the neon lights of Times Square, feeling I’m king of the hill, top of the heap.
The summer of 2000 finally made my dream come true. I had to go to Philadelphia for a conference and I decided that I would take a bus to NYC and spend a whole day there. The moment the bus came out of the tunnel under the Hudson River, I managed to wipe the steam off the window with the sleeve of my t-shirt and look out. I was astonished. The view of the skyline in front of me was breathtaking. Whether I looked to the right or to the left, there was nothing but skyscrapers. And in the middle of it was one of New York’s most famous icons, the Empire State Building. It was much better than I had ever imagined.