A Night under the Empire State Building

The New York City skyline didn’t wow me at first. Yes, a blasphemous statement I know, but it is true. Although I had been to New York many times before, I looked upon the skyline as I drove in from La Guardia airport with fresh eyes, yet  there was nothing in my sights that made my heart beat any bit faster. Although I recognized the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, I was still dumb-founded on how the New York skyline could be anything less than enchanting. Wasn’t this the supposed center of the universe after all?

Fast forward two weeks. As a new resident and intern of New York City, I decided to go out and about the town at 230 Fifth, a rooftop bar only steps from the Flatiron Building. A legendary bar in town, 230 Fifth was the place to go for fresh air and rare city views with fun, overpriced cocktails included. Now, when legendary is involved, long lines ensue. So after a bit of a wait downstairs, I finally made it to Cloud 9. Walking into the rooftop bar, I started to feel my heart beat faster and the butterflies gather in the pit of my stomach.

Before my very eyes, the Empire State Building stood there, gleaming in its Memorial Day shades of red, white and blue. Behind it was the Chrysler Building  and next to us the New York Life Building shined.  I had finally found awe and enchantment in the New York skyline, something I wasn’t sure I would find during my time here. I was actually almost giddy at how perfect it looked, especially amongst a bevy of beautiful New Yorkers, seemingly-real gardens and  15 dollar margaritas. And as embarrassing as it is to admit, I spent my whole evening out snapping photographs of each building and playing the part of the tourist I always love to hate. But in that moment I was too star-struck to care.

I’ve never been someone who fed into the idea of New York City being the only city that mattered in the world. I grew up smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago, a city I find quite comparable to here, and I have visited many more blood-stirring cities as well. So upon arriving here, I was eager to play the critic. But unfortunately, as my night at 230 Fifth showed, my cynicism had no shot in the city that never sleeps, and I have quickly surrendered to being in love with New York. The skyline now makes me tremble., the versatility of each neighborhood excites me and I find trendy, chic bistros I want to visit at every other corner (Did I mention the fashion?).  After all these positively giddy New York comments, I almost don’t recognize myself anymore.  But what can I say? It’s the center of the universe after all.

By Harriet White

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