New York State of Mind

After a lunch stop near Toledo, Ohio, we continued on our coast-to-coast road trip east bound. We considered driving straight through to New York City, but it would’ve been quite exhausting and logistically then I would have to figure out a way to get back home to Washington, DC. So we decided to take a little detour and end our fourth traveling day in the suburb of Washington, DC, where I live, and to continue on the next day with the last leg of our trip. From home, I would drive my own car separately from my brother and then I would continue on with a couple more days of road trip to New England on my own.

So on the last day of the trip, we got up early again to start driving on the last leg of our coast-to-coast road trip. Each of us drove a car and we tried to keep close to each other since I had GPS and traffic notification in my car. We used the Motorola Talkabout two-way radios to communicate between the two cars.

The drive from DC to New York was not that memorable, partly because we were driving with only few hours of sleep the night before, and because we were focused on getting back to New York as soon as possible. We had to return the car that day, and before that, we would have to unload my brother’s belongings first, so we thought we didn’t have much time to spare.

We finally reached New York City, and after unloading my brother’s belongings in his apartment in Brooklyn, we went to Midtown Manhattan to return the rental car that had served us well during the coast-to-coast road trip.

After returning the car, we went for a late lunch in Chinatown at a restaurant that had become one of my brother’s favorite restaurants in New York City. Then we went to the South Street Seaport area to find a place where I could take another photo to bookend our trip. We started with at the Santa Monica Pier on the West Coast, so I thought it would be appropriate to finish at the Pier 17 near the South Street Seaport with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn area, my brother’s new home, to finish the trip.

While writing about this last part of the trip, I couldn’t help to remember how much our view of New York City had changed over the years. I remembered when I visited New York City with my brother for the first time how after half day of sightseeing on the Grayline double-decker bus, my brother commented that he didn’t like New York and wouldn’t want to live there. Not long after, I also spent a couple of months working on a work project at my company’s New York office. I enjoyed visiting the city, particularly going to the Broadway shows, but I didn’t really think it’s a place I would like to live in.

Several years later, my brother was ‘forced’ to move to New York City to pursue his graduate degree. Then he got a job that allowed him to stay in the area, and along the way, he came to love the city and its unique lifestyle. After I moved to Washington, DC, I could visit my brother more frequently, and during those visits, I came to see and appreciate what it was like to see and experience New York City from the perspective of its resident. Now my brother lives with his family in Brooklyn, very much a New Yorker. I still don’t think I could live there (for the same reason I wouldn’t like to live in downtown DC either — I rather live in a suburb with easy access to the city than live in the heart of the city itself), but it’s becoming a place that I do like to visit.

Brooklyn Bridge

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