The big Times Square. The thing I loved the most was the sense of belonging: so much going on, so many love stories around me, completely oblivious to my presence. Love was all around. It’s Valentine’s Day, I had finally arrived in NYC! After a long waited four-hour ride from Washington D.C.

The best of the ride was the driver. Such a character, reminded me of the “Chef” from the South Park series – tall and strong, with warm deep vocals and an enthusiastic satirical speech: “My name is Bill. Just remember what you hate paying every month, and you’ll be like that – that’s my driver, Bill!”. His deep voice and comic tone were so warming! When arriving in NYC, he welcomed us his own way:

“Welcome to the Big Apple, where everybody drives carefully, cab drivers look out for you, people curse in front of you…”, and he proceeded “Ladies, have a great women time today, and gentleman… whatever!”. He was hilarious, and the perfect host to the Big Apple. His joyful voice made me completely forget I had been stuck in Washington for the past two days due to the severe weather, delaying my trip to NYC and shortening it to just a couple of days. 

It was on a great mood that I had stepped out of the bus. And as I looked across the street, there she was, dressed in pink light: the majestic Empire State Building. Such an overwhelming feeling, admiring this enormous concrete  jungle, whose lights define its delicate edges, overlaying colours and juxtaposing shapes. I felt a strange warmth of spirit. Arriving lonely in New York City on Valentines Day, I actually felt much-loved by this place that I had never seen before, apart from depicted in movies and books.

Despite the late hours and my tiredness, I decided to walk, and let the cityscape’s neon lights kiss my snow cold skin. Times Square! Here, countless love stories kept developing simultaneously, unrelated between them but together building the big picture.

Unaware of my presence just next to them, two newlywed men were saluting, kissing and posing for the cameras, not just their cameras, any tourist cameras that would want to picture them. Aside, two other girls, posing for their phone cameras, most likely hash tagging “Love” on Instagram afterwards. A guy walks past holding a heart-shaped balloon.

I looked at the time – it was no longer February 14th. The hours may have passed, but love remains. I left Times Square and headed to the hotel, wearing a big smile and warmth of heart. Welcome to the New York City of Love.

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