It seems crazy to say this but I have never set foot in New York City. Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to numerous cities and countries around the world. But somehow, I’ve never even picked up a connecting flight in the city that never sleeps.
To be clear, it has nothing to do with a lack of desire. I want to go to New York a lot. There is so much I find appealing about it, enough that I often wonder if I’ll end up staying. At the same time, that’s definitely a risk I’m willing to take.
Why I want to go to New York
Everybody has their own reasons for wanting to hit up the Big Apple. For a lot of people, they’re drawn in by the Broadway scene or the nightlife. And while I certainly get that, I’m not heading to New York for either of those reasons.
A big reason for me is all of the restaurants. Sure, I want to hit up the major stars of the dining scene but there are going to be some old-school mom and pop shops to check out. This is a food town of the highest caliber and that needs to be experienced from every angle.
Additionally, I love museums. Art. Natural history. Pop culture. I love them all, and New York has no shortage of them. On top of that, I’m always on the hunt for interesting stores to check out. The beauty of NYC is that it has some really interesting spots to shop.
New York can get pretty weird
While this might not be a reason to go for everyone, New York City is the kind of place that gets weird. And not just a little weird. NYC is straight up, no holds barred freaky deaky weird, which is what makes it such a wonderful place to travel to.
There’s a museum that is entirely housed in a freight elevator. There’s a stunning, abandoned subway station that demands to be experienced. There are magic shops, genre-specific bookstores, and an old freight railway that has been turned into an urban park.
The Big Apple is more like the Big Onion, and not because it stinks. Like an onion, New York seemingly has an endless number of layers. And no matter how many you peel back, there’s always something new, different, and sometimes even a little smelly to find.
When it’s time, it’s time
New York is a city of more than 20 million people in its greater metropolitan area. That might be the easiest way to quantify how massive this place truly is. Millions of people flock to NYC every year, some to visit and others to stay.
There’s no easy answer to why I’ve never gone to New York City. It comes down to timing, more than anything else. While I might not know why I’ve never been, I know why I want to go and I know that I will eventually end up there.
When the time is right, I’ll finally knock this place off of my lengthy bucket list. And while I’ll definitely end up doing some traditionally touristy things, I also hope I get the chance to see the side of New York City that’s out there waiting.