I’ve been living in New York since 1997, after two years spent in Washington State. Many people have come to visit since then and each time I found myself acting like a tourist and a tourist guide at the same time. This city has so much to offer and so much to see that it’s always a pleasure anyway.
The boat that from the west side goes all the way to the UN on the east side, leaves right from the pier across the street from my building. It’s a warm afternoon, the sun is still shining bright and most likely it won’t get dark until maybe 6pm, so we are all ready to live this experience. Flocks of tourist from all over the States and all over the world are waiting patiently with their tickets in their hands. We stand in line behind them, as you know, you need to respect the lines here! It is going to be an interesting outing; we go down the Hudson River, reach the Statue of Liberty, pass below the Brooklyn Bridge and then navigate upwards on the East River till we reach the United Nation building.
I have my camera with me of course since I never leave the house without it, unless I’m working…when I used to work that is. I look and sound so much Italian still (or better Sardinian) even after all these years in this country that I can easily pass for a tourist. The sun is setting and the sky has orange and red strikes, while the glass buildings seem to burn under the reflection of the sunlight. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very exciting for me running around Manhattan, like if it was always the first time. It’s also true that I know people that were born and raised here and never been to either the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. It reminds me of myself when I lived in Sardinia. I can’t even remember how many times I visited these places. Now I’m so fed up and when my friends are in town, I give them a city map, transportation map, a metrocard and tell them how to reach their destination.
In the meanwhile, we have reached the UN. It’s dark now and coldish. We did not think the temperatures where going to drop after sunset and my windbreaker is useless. We turn around and go back the other way. The city lights are shining so bright that you cannot see the stars in the clear sky. Whenever you see somebody walking with his nose up in the air, it’s because he’s checking out the height of he building so it doesn’t really matter if there’s a starry sky.
And obviously, the New Yorkers all think the same thing: TOURISTS!