State #16: One Hand in the Air for the Big City, Street Lights, Big Dreams, All Lookin' Pretty
Whoa man, where do I start? Well, since Danielle is from (upstate) New York, I would imagine that she would have a lot more to say about it than I do (one of those rare occasions where I am actually right about something). We have already been to New York a couple times - coming or going. However, our true date in New York would probably be the first time she took me to her home in Poughkeepsie.
Being only 1.5 hours outside the city, you'd expect it to be a lot more populated and more New York style, but that wasn't the case. Actually, turns out that both NJ and Rhode Island are more densely populated (?!) Nestled along the Hudson River, her town seemed almost rural, yet it held all the mansions of the people that built America (ie: Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, etc). It Is also the home of a couple universities. Yeah, blah blah history blah - but here's the best part: it also has an abandoned insane asylum! Of course, that was quite literally the ONLY thing that was forbidden from our sightseeing to-do list. Since Danielle can't even handle watching Jurassic Park - yes, a completely fictional movie that can never ever happen in real life - there was probably a snowball's chance in hell that she'd be able to explore a real-life insane asylum.
It is amazing to see the huge differences in people, geography, (and driving style) once you leave the boroughs. I would never have thought that we were in New York based on what I saw in Po-town. The attitude, speed of life and vibe of New York City is usually too much to fit on my plate, even though I was raised just outside of a big city (SanFran). Danielle's town seemed almost the exact opposite though: life seemed a little bit too slow here. There were a few small local bars and restaurants here or there. To me, it seemed like there was a lot to see in the daytime, but there really isn't much going on at night. Unless you happen to come across a Snooki-sighting. Yes, unfortunately, that's a real thing. Don't encourage it. Despite that 4-ft tall terror, overall, I guess it would be a good place to raise a family.
But, seriously, don't encourage it.
I <3 NY!
My home state, aka the best state, aka the concrete jungle where dreams are made of :)
Unfortunately, we did not have nearly as much time as we needed to explore one borough, let alone the entire city (or state for that matter). You see, we were driving through downtown Manhattan on our way from DC to the Boston area for a long weekend. And if I remember correctly, we were passing through the city right around rush hour – so we sure as hell wanted to hightail it on outta there!
While I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker, I’m a self-proclaimed upstate-New-Yorker. The city is an entirely different PLANET. Even though my hometown of Poughkeepsie is only about an hour and a half drive from Times Square, you might as well be boarding a spaceship. The volume, the traffic, the people, the culture – to quote Jasmine, it’s “a whole new world!” While we would eventually visit Poughkeepsie itself in April of the same year, our first tandem trip into the Big Apple came as a means to another destination, not an ends in itself.
When we did make it back to Po-town in April, like Jacek said, we toured the sites old-school style: Vanderbilt, Roosevelt, the Hudson River Walkway. No biggie for me - but my super duper history buff boyfriend loved it! :)
However, our very first lightning-speed date in NYC included paying an $8 toll, getting stopped by a drawbridge for an insanely slow-moving boat, taking a slight detour (no, we weren’t lost!), and enjoying the skyline from inside my Chevy Malibu.
Needless to say a return trip is definitely due! Stay tuned for our adventures back to the boroughs and to upstate as well!