The never ending man-made skyline, thousands of buildings, signifying millions of lives.
Long streets that disappear to a point in perspective, passing through diverse neighbourhoods, both rich and poor.
Energy that seems to come from beneath your feet, like the smoke from the manholes, creating a charged atmosphere on every street corner.
People moving in every direction below buildings from the movies.
This city is a monument to America, to capitalism and the American dream. A physical realisation of the ideas of a young country in the process of designing its own history and mythology.
Why do people come to New York? Is it to be part of something bigger than themselves? Is it to become famous or to have the chance to become a big player in this massive city? There is the chance to make it to the top or go crazy trying. This city is clearly more important than any individual in it. The draw or appeal is to be a part of the buzz of this colossal place. It feels like the hub of the Western world and may very well be just that.
As far as the eye can see are structures, harking back to the photos of the high-rise construction workers balanced on beams above the city, eating their lunch. How many lives of men have gone into building this place? The skyline goes on into the distance in almost every way you look, emphasising the almost impossible feat.
There are massive gaps between the rich and poor but this seems to be an accepted part of life here and part of what makes America what it is. The chances and the opportunities are presented to be there for anyone to grasp. It asks everyone, 'Do you want to make it big?' and gives enough chance that many take the gamble. The poor never want to complain about this situation because they believe they can become a one of the rich and reap the rewards.
Walking the streets is energising. They go on forever in their grid structure but gradually, imperceptibly change and shift to take the form of new places. Diversity, a rich patchwork of cultures merged into one.
The surprises keep you moving in, forcing you to ask, ''What is next? What will I see around the corner? What will be there?'