"Empire state of mind" New York City by Tijavi

New York City Travel Guide: 16,012 reviews and 32,499 photos

Because of the pervasive images on TV and movies, visitors to New York, including me, experience a strong sense of deja vu. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, even the Guggenheim - we've seen them all, all the time. But of course nothing beats the actual presence in these places, experiencing them through our six senses, from the awesome views of Lower Manhattan, to the palate-tickling multi-ethnic cuisines, to the stench of the subways, New York offers a boundless array of big city experiences, perhaps second to none on the planet.

This feeling - this state of mind - of infinite possibilities is New York's biggest attraction. Visitors get to see first hand what human potential could achieve through the towering skyscrapers, the highly-entertaining Broadway (and off-Broadway) musicals, the gold standard for capitalistic pursuits that is Wall Street (and NYSE), and so much more. The equation looks simple: ambition + hard work = world domination!

The same ambition and feeling of infinite possibilities draw people from all over the world to this great metropolis, not as tourists but immigrants imbibed with a strong sense of belief that everything and anything is possible in New York. As cliche as it sounds, New York City is a magnificent melting pot of cultures and peoples, the resulting concoction infinitely delicious.

My most memorable taste of this New York specialty was during a Halloween parade - it was a cold rainy night, but the New Yorkers and their visitors' spirits were clearly not dampened (no pun intended), intent on having fun. Amidst the dancing ghosts, flying skeletons and drag queens in stilettos, the most unforgettable experience that night had nothing to do with the parade itself; it was listening to more than 10 languages being spoken within a meter and a half radius from where we stood as we huddled with other rain-soaked revelers. It was extraordinarily surreal; it was the ultimate New York experience for me.

  • Intro Updated Dec 8, 2012
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