You know when you look forward to something for such a long time that somehow when you finally get to do it you are afraid it may be a bit of a let down?
I wanted to see New York since I was seven. That was fifty years ago. Almost a lifetime. New York didn’t meet my expectations. It exceeded them.
I love cities. Always did, I was born in one and grew up in one. When emigrating to Australia my father did the ‘Australian middle class thing’ to live in the suburbs I found it depressing. The lack of people and noise. When due to unforeseen circumstances we moved to Melbourne’s inner suburbs near shops, restaurants and people I felt re-born.
This is why I loved New York. I didn’t feel anxious one bit, quite the opposite, I was incredibly comfortable. I know this may sound wanky, but as I experienced the city for the first time walking 40th Street to go to the New York Public Library on 5th Ave I could feel the vibrations of the city and it was something I felt at home with.
This is the opposite when I am in the bush where I always feel a sense of mild anxiety. Knowing there are few or no people around, where if it gets dark there are no lights to make it like day, really feeling like a fish out of water.
Of course it is also different. But the difference is in the size of the experience. Is like watching a movie on a laptop, and then watching it on 3D IMAX. The movie is the same, the action of watching is the same, but the experience of watching it on a huge screen in 3D is like walking in an Australian city and New York.
However I did ask myself whether visiting for a couple of weeks and living there would change my perception. Whether having your senses being constantly stimulated would eventually create a sense of fatigue. I experienced a bit of this when while waiting for tickets for a Broadway show we entered the St. Malachy Roman Catholic Church and it was such an oasis of peace, quiet and calm that I really welcomed.
One thing for certain. I want to go back.