To break my week long silence with uncharacteristic flash and wide-angles in a hotel on the other side of the world certainly seems a little ironic. Where are the token fire-escapes, yellow cabs, skyscrapers, and forlorn street style walking photos with large glasses and frappucino in hand? What the hell is New York with out them!? Fear not – clichés are well on the way (and have already flooded my Instagram squares so don’t get too stressed, now).
But let’s get some serious faces in here: stripping away what Google Images tells you about the Big Apple, we’re left with blind ambition, and the romance that comes with the celebrity and history of the city built from the ground up. In a way, the Waldorf embodies that other-worldly glamour in a gritty city. The corridors on my floor were lined with black and white, curly hand-captioned photos of Elizabeth Taylor, young Ralph Lauren, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, the Queen and other bedazzled icons arriving and lounging at the decadent hotel, surrounded by flashbulb paparazzi and dapper dudes in suits.
As much as this could not be further from present day reality, and the nature of celebrity has evolved in a more sprawling acreage or hipster brownstone direction over hotel residencies, nobody ever said no to a Golden Hollywood or even Great Gatsby costume theme-off. We’re all a little fancy at the end of the day.
Apparently, this was best expressed by way of flash, wide-angle, film when the edge of my lens got in the way (can anyone recommend a good external flash?), and way more eyeliner than I’ve ever packed onto this face, but hey – when in Rome…
In the same way, the fact that New York has stood the test of time as one of the world’s most epicentric cities is fascinating to me, as it is to any twenty-something year old who Instagrams the Empire State Building, announcing their move to the big city, followed by a ridiculous number of heart-eye emojis.
Sure – every born and bred New Yorker will tell you that nothing is what it seems. The air is dirty. The subway is always breaking down. The Summer is sweaty. The Winter is a bloody tundra. The rent is obscene. The dating is stressful. The tourists are infuriating. They’ve never been up to Top of the Rock and sure as hell don’t intend to. And yet, a decade on, they’re still living here.
I guess any city can be as charming as you want it to be.