I'm in New York again.
I'd forgotten what an onslaught New York is.
It's a big city in the way only Americans could do a big city. It's loud, and it's grimy, and the drains don't quite take the smell of sewage away. There's dirt everywhere and the heat from the subway rises up through great grills in the street and washes over the panting pedestrians. Oil and bitumen assails you from roadworks and construction projections. The traffic is constant and everywhere and they all honk their horns and no one moves. People stand around, hordes of them, outside buildings and on corners and places that don't seem important. Seven here, twenty there, a dozen waiting on the next street. They don't move.
It's oppressive. God it's intimidating and terrifying and so beautiful.
The buildings rise up and up, they tower over the chaos of the streets and hem everything in, keeping it tight, pressing it closer together. It narrows your view and focuses and channels even the daylight in a way architects and designers dream of.
Rocketing, rattling tin can Metro cars with their 70s era shades of desperately happy and comfortable orange, so perfectly like their city; grimy and noisy and fast. Chrome reflecting off everywhere, dazzling, like the city.
The constant traffic blocks up roads alongside sidewalks that are wider than the entire Strand. The overbearing towering blocks are gleaming and golden and gilt in beautiful, indulgent art deco styles. It screams decadence and tragedy and desire and something that refuses to die and you don't want it to.. Golden and Silver Age Hollywood. Rapture.
The women, my god I never get over the women here. Runway fashions. The kind even supermodels only wear for that one catwalk because you can't actually buy them, and no one would ever wear them, you cant even walk in them. Celebrities on the red carpet don't have them. New York women are wearing them all. The Carries and the Samathas and Mirandas and Charlottes who hate that that's how everyone only ever thinks about them anymore but love that everywhere does a Cobb Salad and lets you talk about sex openly nowadays (and why shouldn't they?!). Dear god the women here are stunning and powerful and determined.
New York scares me. I can't even imagine what it must be like if it's your first big city. Your first proper city. But god its beautiful and stunning and intoxicating and addictive and just try to stop yourself from whirling around it.