New York, New York
It has been a long time since I decided to start an architectural blog, writing and discussing issues related to architecture, construction and urban environment. I could not think of a better topic to start this blog than my trip to New York last summer. Few days are certainly not enough to analyze New York’s urban fabric, but it enough to be impressed by this amazing city.
Last year I travelled to New York City for the first time in my life. As an architect, I always thought that visiting New York will be as amazing, interesting and as exciting as going to London or Paris. But, I have to admit it was off the charts. It truly is “The Greatest City in the World”, as I heard for years from David Letterman’s announcer Alan Kalter on the Late Show with David Letterman.
When you walk around the streets of New York, you have a certain déjà vu feeling. You have seen all of these buildings, neighborhoods and streets in movies. You feel like De Niro and Pesci are about to cross the street of Little Italy. You feel like seeing Charlie Sheen in the financial district, or Woody Allen in the Upper East Side. I probably passed Woody Allen in the street but didn’t realize it, just because I was hypnotized and mesmerized by the buildings in the New York City.
As an architect and as an Art Deco fan, it is so exciting to walk around the streets in Manhattan and see all of the landmark buildings you have seen and studied in books.
This is the city that Le Corbusier called “The city of Incredible Towers”. The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, The Hearst Tower, New York Public Library, The Guggenheim, AT&T Building, Grand Central Station, Flat Iron Building, the list goes on and on.
But in my opinion, it is not these wonderful buildings that make New York the greatest city in the world, it is its people. The New Yorkers! New York is the best example of a melting pot, where people of all races, all colors and all religions live together in the same concrete jungle. In New York everyone is a New Yorker even the tourist. You never feel a stranger, a foreigner or an outsider.
Of course New York has had its share of racial tensions, but it overcame those dark days and in my opinion it is the best city to host the United Nations. Lady Liberty’s torch still gives hope to millions of people looking to find their new home in New York.
New York is truly “A city so nice they named it twice”. From Central Park to East Village, from Little Italy to Harlem, Chelsea to Greenwich Village, Chinatown to Lennox Hill, this city is filled with gorgeous architecture and incredible people with a great character.
William Shakespeare said “What is the city but the people?” It is the New Yorkers that created such an amazing city, gave character to the city; and the city in return gave them a personality that is unique to New Yorkers, tough yet kind hearted, cautious yet welcoming, measured yet friendly. New York will always remain the greatest city in the world, just because of its greatest asset, New Yorkers!