Small Town Girl in the Big City

I’ll admit we never really expected to live in a small town on a big island, and we love it.  This week I have been in a big city on a small island.  It’s a very different experience and I have actually enjoyed it.  I was asked to work at an event in New York City, downtown Manhattan.   You wonder how this could take place in the age of Omicron, but I actually feel very safe.  This event has almost 6000 people onsite and every person had to have a lab-based PCR test before arriving and I have had one every day being here. It’s quite amazing how the company putting on the event figured out the requirements,  logistics, and software to make this happen.  I get the results shortly after midnight, via email.  This, along with mandatory N95 masks, and metal detectors at the door, I feel pretty safe.  Welcome to the world of events in the waning (we hope) days of the pandemic.  

So aside from long hours (normal), being in NYC is quite an experience.  Noisy horns, sirens, so many cars and people, bright lights, tall buildings.  It’s a bit overwhelming for a small-town girl.  

Our hotel is near Times Square, so we did a quick walk through it one night so I could at least prove I have been there!  

Behind me is where ‘the ball drops’
Big City lights

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to get out and enjoy a bit of the sights.  I walked to the Empire State Building to get a good view of the city.  It’s such an iconic spot, so I figured it was something that needed to be done.  The museum you go through on the way to the elevators is interesting, showing how it was built in a record time (just 14 months) in the early 30’s.  They forged the rivets for the structure right where they were going to use them.  A crew of 4 would work together; 1 forger who would then toss the hot ingot to person 2 to catch it in a metal cone and then two riveters who would fasten them.  How many rivets were forged on scaffolds, high above the city?!

Beautiful elevators!

I had great weather and the views were awesome.  There are just so many large, tall buildings in such a small area. Newer buildings have some interesting shapes, and of course iconic buildings like the Chrysler Tower are easily identified. It was nice that it was not that crowded so I could spend as much time as I wanted up there.  

Looking SE
So many building shapes!
Looking towards New Jersey, across the Hudson River
Looking south (into the sun). Tallest building at the end of the island is One World Trade Center (rebuilt tower after 9/11)

A walk back along the streets gave me a better feeling for the city.   One striking feature right now, is the myriad of street side Covid testing stations.  Free PCR tests available in everything from a small tent to a bus.  

So while I would never trade our home on Vancouver Island for NYC, it has been fun to experience just a bit. There is so much more to do, but I was glad I got to get just a small taste.

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