Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If I Can Make It There

Whilst supposedly reporting on a local community council meeting last night, my mind began wandering, as it is prone to do at almost any time of the day and during any given task.

Last night's little meander was provoked by the thought of 'where would I rather be right now'?

That wasn't really a fair task for my mind last night, as the simple answer was 'anywhere'. Sat in a cold room on a hard chair in a room where I was the youngest person by at least 30 years and where I couldn't give a rat's ass about any of the issues being discussed - boredom doesn't even come close to describing the feeling I had.

Anyway, this zoning out gave me the opportunity, in my head, to try to work out where my five favourite places on Earth are.

Edinburgh in the spring is easily in the top five. Recalling my lazy student days, relaxing in Princes Street Gardens and looking up at the castle, there was never going to be any doubt of that one.

The Khao San road in Bangkok is also in the running, just for the sheer bedlam happening all around you. Mrs Wife (then known as Miss Girlfriend) and I arrived in Thailand after dark, and were taken in an air-conditioned taxi to the Khao San. Stepping out into the humidity and temperature, with Thais whizzing around us on mopeds and in tuk-tuks, was a once in a lifetime feeling.

Whilst travelling the world, I came to love both Perth and Melbourne, the two cities in which Mrs Wife and I lived whilst in Australia. Perth, despite having around a million citizens, feels more like a large town than a sprawling city, and the summer weather is like paradise to sun-starved Scots. Melbourne is more bohemian, with an exciting arts and music scene and more life.

Other places I considered for my top five list were Barcelona and Paris. But the overall winner, and my favourite place on the planet, is New York.

I'd always imagined that I would love London, but having been there a few times, I realise that I don't. It's too busy, too dirty, too noisy and there are far too many self-centred people for one country to be able to handle, let alone one city.

And yes, New York is all of those things as well. But New York tops my list just by virtue of being New York - spending days exploring Central Park; visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; reaching the top of the Empire State Building and looking out at the world's most famous skyline.

But New York also wins because of the little details, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and seeing the Statue of Liberty from a different angle, or seeing steam rising up from manholes.

And New York wins hands down for food. The best food I have ever tasted came from a takeaway on Court Street in Brooklyn called Buddy's Burrito, and the best pizza I have ever had was made in Manhattan.

I've been all around the world, visited Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, but the one place I know I will definitely return to is New York.


NotCarrie said...

We're going to NYC this weekenf for my BIRTHDAY!!!

Anonymous said...

... the Wife and I spent a week in Manhattan a few years ago.... we both loved it....


Erica said...

By virtue of what you said about New York, I now love you, forever.

I've spent many, many hours in my life on Court Street, which runs from Brooklyn Heights to Carroll Gardens.

We definitely got the best pizza.

Groanin' Jock said...

Seems most people like NYC as much as I do!
Erica, you can be my guide the next time I make it across!

michele said...

I remember my first visit to Edinburgh and the Princess Street Gardens; I couldn't understand why in the world they would let weeds grow amongst the other flowers. Then I found out that the thistle is the official flower; good thing I didn't pull it up! *S*