After singing "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" on a loop in my hotel room, I decided to complete my outfit.  Photo Credit: Jen Chiang

After singing “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” on a loop in our hotel room,
I decided that a smile was needed to complete my outfit.
Photo Credit: Jen Chiang

This may be a little too forward. We don’t know each other that well quite yet and I know we just started seeing each other, but I have to say this: I love you. Yes, New York, I love you. I love you so much that I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want to sing “The Hills Are Alive” on top of a mountain in Salzburg, Austria. I want to douse myself in the love I have for you. Too much? You’re right.

Due to our journalism win (CSPA Silver Crown), myself and two other journalism peers had the privilege to visit New York City. During our trip to the beautiful campus of Columbia University, our adventures on Broadway, our somber walks (or rather runs) through the rain and winning the award, I had experiences that do not normally happen at home.

Much like your typical stop-in-and-buy-a-souvenir area, Lower Manhattan holds the largest amount of tourist “5 shirts for $20” shops. Our first night in New York City consisted of a very Italian man beckoning us to come into his restaurant in Little Italy. We decided to budge because when love (food) beckons to you, follow him. Though this was not the most glamorous part of New York, I was already well-aware that this city will one day accommodate my dreams.

The second day of New York City’s beauty was interesting, by all means. We began the day by visiting Columbia University’s gorgeous campus (fun fact: CU was founded in 1754). Keeping the establishment date in mind, it was no surprise that the classrooms were very movie-like particularly because the first classroom we saw had a maximum occupancy of 155. One hundred and fifty-five wood stool-seats with four layered chalkboards (YES! Actual chalkboards) in the front of the (mathematics) room.

The day progressed with our much-anticipated visit to Times Square which was stumped by rain. Not Las Vegas’ light, warm and fuzzy drizzle, no, but a roaring New York, freezing downpour. It is safe to say that five layers of clothing would have been considered near-nakedness for us. Our night continued with a Broadway performance (we watched Matilda). The show was enough to give one the warm-and-fuzzies for a few days. It made my heart pitter-patter. We laughed, we aww’d and we ahh’d. Needless to say, the performance was mind-blowing.

[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] The show was enough to give one the warm-and-fuzzies for a few days. It made my heart pitter-patter. [/vision_pullquote]

By the third day of our trip, we were true New Yorkers. Well, not really, but one can only wish. Going into New York, the only attraction I wanted to see was the New York Times building. My wish was fulfilled, and I was baffled by the inspiration the building was radiating. I know what Stephen Chbosky meant by “feeling infinite.” Our night was concluded with another performance on Broadway. In order to experience more sophisticated art, we watched one of the previews of Bullets Over Broadway which features Zach Braff. Need I say more?

Day four of New York City was a gorgeous, sunny day. After our win at the CSPA conference, we paid tribute to the 9/11 Memorial and continued our journey. Being a huge park person, we strolled through Central Park and fed geese Cliff Bars. One thing led to another, and we walked 45 blocks as we marveled at the beauty of Park Avenue. I forgot that my feet hurt after the countless times I was asked if I could give directions. Yes, I, Alex Nedelcu, was asked if I am able to give directions to tourists in my favorite city. I, Alex Nedelcu, was mistaken for a New York City local.

I could sit for days and tell you about the extravagance of this city, but that would do no justice to its true allure.

Art. Art in every corner. Every crack in the pavement, and every door handle I touched (and sanitized afterwards) was true art. New York, much like Las vegas, is not about the lights and the glamor, but about the art. It is about the man selling newspapers in the subway station on a Thursday, keeping a positive outlook despite the cold shoulders of the passersby. It is about the radiance of each building; the agile look of every fire escape. This city is about dreams. It is about success and motivation; about the tourists taking selfies in front of every foundation. I have found my niche.

This is my city. New York, I love you.