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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

New York City Where Dreams are Made

(c) Susan Elliott
Wow! This past weekend I traveled with one of my best friends and our kids up to New York City. It was a huge experience. I've never really thought of writing a bucket list, but if I'd written one I think this trip would have been on it.

From the moment we stepped into Penn Station (that's in Newark, NJ) and boarded the train to New York, I felt a rush of excitement. It is easy to see why people are drawn to the city life. New York was unbelievable!

Things I Learned in New York that Every Writer Should Know

* The People of New York are friendly. I am a Texas girl, and I can remember being told from an early age that people from New York, and New York City in particular are not very friendly. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that many of the people are not only friendly, but very courteous and helpful. I didn't meet anyone that scared me or made me uncomfortable. I just wish I'd had more time to visit with the locals.

* New York City is surrounded by a lot of wooded area. This is crucial to note if you're writing a story set near the city. Ten miles from the city I actually got lost in the woods when I was driving at night. I had no idea!
(c) Susan Elliott

* Contrary to popular belief the subways (or trains, as a local called them) are not really dirty. (At least where we road them.) They are pleasant. I enjoyed riding the trains from Station A to the World Trade Center. They offered a nice place to sit down and air-conditioning.

(c) Susan Elliott 
If you've ever ridden the Metro in Washington DC, you would be pleasantly surprised by the New York City subway. I found the Metro hot, and dirty, but not the trains in NYC!  Also, they were easy to board, and really there wasn't much of a wait for tickets. (That might be different depending on the day.) It took us an hour to get tickets for the Metro the day we went to DC. I New York we went to the ticket window, got our tickets and went to the platform. Zip.Zip.Zip.

* New York City is much more than tall buildings and concrete. We walked from the World Trade Center Memorial through Tribeca, Soho, and Greenwich Village. (A good walk!) I can't even tell you how many garden parks there were. We saw buildings with gorgeous gardens encased with old iron bar fences. Some were open and we walked through them, others were padlocked and we imagined what it would be like to walk through their gardens. It's easy to see why someone would write a story in that setting!
(c) Susan Elliott

* The city has a life of its own. It almost seems to breathe. The towering buildings, narrow row houses and the hum of traffic almost seem alive. One thing I really found interesting is how the ground itself feels like its got a beating heart. I think this is because you can actually feel the vibration of the subway trains as they move beneath your feet. It's almost magical!

*Eating at an outdoor cafe is amazing. My best friend, several of our kids and I ate at a place called the Square Diner. It was fantastic. We just happened upon it. I think that's how you could refer to our New York City trip in general, it just happened. No plans, no driving need to go here or there, just a great walk in an amazing city!

Writer friends, I want to encourage you to take a trip to New York City and absorb as much as you can. I know there were several moments that I longed to just sit and write. I am already planning my next trip back, this time I'm bringing the hubs! I can now say, without hesitation that I LOVE New York City!

(c) Susan Elliott