Packed, crowded, full of people. The (negative) picture I had in mind when I arrived here. What caught my eye is something different. Yes, it is indeed a packed city, but equipped with so much more, with little things, that it felt positive to me.
A city full of life, full of humans (and many dogs) going their way, cars honking their way through the street and a blue-lighted emergency car here and there to cause a bit of extra action. There is not much space for nature, for trees, bushes and other animals (than dogs). But, the places that are crafted for this, for the nature to unfold, they are there. They exist. They are the trees along the sides of the roads, the trees that form small avenues when you walk along one of the smaller side streets. And parks. Not just this one central big park thingy, but all these small oases all over the city. Here people come to meet. To hang out, to chat, to live. To enjoy.
It feels like as if, because this space is so limited, people make much more use of it. A few chairs on the street is the starting point for a small chilly gathering of friends and neighbors. Space that is abandoned and wouldn’t be used otherwise is made useful. Like the high lines. Where nature, art, shops, photo shootings, stunning views on the valleys between the tower buildings, and people making use of the space.
Welcome to New York.