First thoughts after coming back from NYC


6 hours across the Atlantic,  one plastic cup of champagne drank in the skies, 4 hours of interrupted napping on a hard bench in Amsterdam airport and one rainy walk from the bus stop to our flat. We are back home after 9 very full days in NYC.

I caught myself looking up when walking down from Haymarket station this morning, here in Edinburgh. Except instead of skyscrapers I saw heavy rainy clouds. It's funny how quickly one can develop a new habit. Some people say if you don't want to look like a tourist in NYC, you shouldn't look up. But how could you not look up at all those art deco buildings, glass walls rising on left and right hand side.

Yesterday we went for the last breakfast to a local bagel place in midtown Manhattan. Sesame bagel with cheese and bacon, toasted please. Order taken, we move on in the queue to pay.

The Mexican man behind the till glances at us and asks:

The usual? $7.62 and happy New Year guys. 

And my heart swelled up a little.

The queue died up so we chatted until the bagels were ready. They are from Mexico but live in New York. Is it cold in Poland? Oh, you live in Scotland? But you speak like Americans! First time in New York? Are you staying to watch the ball drop? You have to come back next year. Hopefully see you again.

Who would have thought that it was so easy to form a human connection in a city known for its anonymity and fast pace of life?

Bagels were toasted, cut in half and eaten on the way to the Rockefeller Centre, where I waved goodbye to 2014 with quite possibly the best view I've seen in my life.

The ball in Times Square was just a small blue dot perched on top of a high pole, waiting to be dropped at midnight to signify the new beginning.

Life, New YorkMaggie Frej