Back to the Big Apple

The day I arrived in New York eight years ago, I was captivated by the tall buildings, bright lights and bustling streets. Everything was new and exciting and crazy — like love at first sight. Before coming to NYC, I had no idea what it was like to be in a city where people waited underground in the subway, all dressed up, rushing to get to work. The sense of energy was awesome!

I loved the excitement of every aspect of life in Manhattan – the sense of adventure was unlike anything I had known. Armed with a single Metrocard I could travel throughout the five boroughs and see all kinds of interesting people and places. New Yorkers have a reputation as being tough and rude but in reality they are down-to-earth, friendly people. This city really lives 24 hours per day. You can have a late dinner, enjoy a stiff drink after midnight, travel home in the wee hours of the morning – and still people are out having fun.

I love dining out at trendy restaurants, walking around Times Square, shopping at famous stores and hanging out at Central Park. New Yorkers are so friendly. After 9/11, the people here came together like a big family. That tragic event didn’t blow out the lights of this cozy city. On the contrary it reminded people of their mortality and if anything was an incentive for them to spend more time with their families and friends.

After living in NY for many years, a personal matter required me to pack my bags and move to Denver. Damn! I almost cried I was so disappointed. But I had to do what I had to do, and I left the Big Apple. Of course Denver has some nice people but it sure ain’t New York! I missed the bright lights, the energy of life back in the Big Apple. I missed my friends.

Then one day my friend in NY told me great news: she had a job opportunity for me back in Manhattan! I was so happy. I jumped on the next plane and was back in the city that never sleeps.

New York has been incredibly good to me. I have my second chance now. I’m an astute observer of words and people. When I’m around my New York friends I see a mix of different races, religions, cultures. Everyone is so different from one another yet in many ways, as New Yorkers, we are the same — as citizens of this great city, we share a common experience, a common way of thinking and living. I think it’s wonderful.

It’s a great big melting pot, and I think it is wonderful. I feel blessed by the people I call my angel friends – good-hearted souls who will do anything for me and for whom I will do whatever I can to help. It feels so good to be loved again.

Follow your instincts, be honest, express your opinion, be curious, dream… but dream big. Believe in yourself and work hard and your dreams shall come true.

There’s a framed letter hanging in Planet Hollywood in New York’s Times Square. Dated January 9, 1970, it was written by Bruce Lee, the martial arts expert. It says: “By 1980 I will be the most well-known martial arts movie star in the US and I will have several tens of millions of dollar.” Lee had a dream for his art and his life, and it came true – not by chance but through his determination to succeed.

l feel blessed to be in this great country and in this great city. God bless New York City, God bless America! May all your dreams come true.



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