Central Park, NYCThis was the very first photo that I shot in New York, at the south east corner of Central Park. After I came from the airport and arrived at the residence, I unpacked my stuff and then immediately set out to capture the city. Stepping into the hot and humid air outside, I made my first steps on the sidewalks of this famous place. The first steps in an unknown environment are always a bit strange and hesitant, but New York gave me a warm welcome and very quickly took away any queasy feelings of foreignness that were hiding inside me.
My first stop was the subway station (86th street on the 4,5 and 6 lines) just two blocks away, where I purchased my Metro Card, not without trouble - the ticket vending machine wouldn't accept my credit card, so finally I paid cash. Since I didn't want to go downtown yet, I resurfaced and - like most New Yorkers do on a Saturday afternoon - made my way west towards Central Park. I lived about halfway up Cental Park on the Upper East Side, and once I reached the park, I continued south towards midtown, passing the Metropolitan Museum of Art and making my way into the park.
On the way south through the park, I wasn't thinking of shooting photos at all. I was just examining the environment, watching people, soaking in the atmosphere of this hot summer afternoon. A bit later I realized that I had already reached the southern edge of the park. Here, it was the mountain range of skyscrapers that majestically enclose the park that made me grab my camera and shoot my first New York photo. It is by no means a great photo, but I thought it would be worth sharing for the sole reason that it was the first one.
Sometimes, the trip to New York still seems like out of a dream to me. When you're there, you don't really have the time to realize that you're actually in New York. The city inevitably sweeps you away, pulling you into its current, forcing you to pick up its pace. And suddenly, you find yourself standing below Brooklyn Bridge on a clear evening, the skyline of Lower Manhattan glittering on the other side of the East River, and it feels so surreal that you can't really believe you are there.
And it keeps going on like this. So many impressions, so much to see, so much to experience. There is no culture shock because you don't have time for it to happen. The city demands your full attention, and the culture shock doesn't hit you until you come back home and realize how calm and slow life is here in Germany. The first weeks after the return are hard, it takes time to slow back down to the speed of life here.
I really hope to see New York again soon, maybe even this year, maybe next. Until then, I still got plenty of photos to show, and every time I get itchy feet, I will just flip through my archive of NY photos and look forward to my next visit to this indescribably vibrant and inspiring city.