“The new Berlin is just like the old New York.” That’s what I kept hearing the past couple of years around here. I hadn’t been to NYC for over a decade and I didn’t think I would make it this year, but all thanks to our generous host Volkswagen, I finally hit the big city of dreams. The city of cities. New York, New York.
And guess what? It’s a shame people are trying to pull off the Berlin/NYC comparison. Don’t waste your precious time– New York is a character unlike anything I have ever seen before. The aesthetics of movies, tv shows, cultural references, restaurants, food, street art, street style — are the aesthetics of New York, omnipresent, ubiquitous. Mostly everything in our lives wears a massive “thanks to NYC” tattoo, from Bangkok to Berlin and back. But then the smell of individualism, capitalism, and American life is so distinctively there, you’ll never find that anywhere else. It’s strange; it can feel like home one second and in the next you’re far away from everything you’ve ever known.
Then again, I had quite a different “tourist” experience in the city, considering I was invited to a press conference held by Volkswagen and the Museum of Modern Art announcing their new founded partnership. Those days blew my mind, and the program exceeded all expectations: not only did I sit in a press conference usually restricted to the best of the best in journalism, not only was I guided professionally through both the MoMa and the MoMa PS1 (by Klaus Biesenbach, director and curator of the MoMa and MoMa PS1, personally!), I even got to attend the Aftershow Party at the Museum, red carpet (blue carpet, actually) and all. If that just isn’t a downright NYC “I’m on it!” experience, I wouldn’t know what is.
So five days of NYC are definitely not enough to come to any conclusion. I was quite relieved to be back in Berlin, where cab drivers are quite nice people. But I do miss waking up to seeing a stunning skyline and discovering something new on every corner of the street. New York, I’m coming back, and I’m going to dissect you, and I’m going to shop the hell out of you, and I’m going to lie in every park you have and climb every possible building from Times Square to Wall Street to see you from above. What I’m not going to do? I’m not going to party. I’ll leave that to Berlin — we’re pros, you know.