It was one of the best experiences of my life, and completely worth the long flights and feeling crippled by jetlag and tiredness the following week.
Although I was only there for a day and a morning and was technically working, I also managed to see a lot of the city. It has made me all the more determined to live there one day. I know it may be a cliché, but Alicia Keys is right, the streets really do inspire you. I will never forget the view as I landed on Friday evening: out the window the New York skyline was stamped against the sunset. As the plane turned, the city tilted and I could see a blanket of buildings stretched out beneath me. If the view wasn't perfect enough, when I stepped off the plane, fireworks greeted me - and I don't mean the metaphorical kind. The fireworks were perhaps the final touch on this glossy advert that was New York City. I definitely bought it.
I could have spent all night at the top of the Empire State Building, despite the wind that was like a whipcrack of cold. All those lights, all those streets, and the feeling that somewhere amongst all those buildings there was a space for little old me, and some sort of adventure waiting to happen.
During the weekend, several taxi drivers asked me if I had come over to partake in the New York Marathon. Which did make me laugh. Unfortunately I left my running shoes at home, but I did manage to get down to see the marathon taking place. It was such an incredible atmosphere; the edge of Central Park was heaving with people cheering and supporting the exhausted runners.