Although the majority of the Argentines love to spend the month of January and/or February on the Argentine, Uruguayan or Brazilian beaches, that is not really my cup of tea. I don’t like crowded beaches. And I don’t like to sunbathe. This year I got to pick out our holiday destination, and I decided to drag the boys to the Big Apple, trying to convince them that it really is a magnificent city.
New York is very similar to Buenos Aires, more than it resembles any place in Belgium. It is also a metropolitan city. It is also big and crowded. It has lots of museums and exhibitions, lots of shows and theatres, lots of restaurants and shops. The biggest difference is probably that New York is a top of the notch first world city. It is the place to be for artists and designers. If you’ve made it in New York, you’ve made it. It is a city where it is impossible to sit still. To me it is London plus Paris (both cities I love) raised to a square. I could come here again and again and not get tired of it.
My daughter agrees : as soon as we land here, we feel at home. But the boys don’t. Actually my son has never been here. He said he doesn’t need to. He has seen it on TV so often that he feels like he knows it. But then he hadn’t counted on the cars. He is born a terrible car freak -terrible in the sense of it dominating all his interests- and here he sees all the cars he loves. The American Escalade and the Dodge RAM ; all the latest models of the European (luxury) cars which, living in Buenos Aires, he only knew from magazines, all with the extra heavy powerful engines especially made for the US market ; and the ‘really’ luxury cars like Bentleys, Aston Martins, SLR’s etc. They are all not only present, but they are abundant. Not being able to turn your head when you see a fancy car, and follow it until it disappears behind the horizon (well, more like until it disappears in traffic) is probably one of the reasons why Buenos Aires will never really be ‘his’ town. It actually took him about 24 hours to finally look up and realise where he was. New York City, where many buildings have the size of a whole block, and are immensely high. Adding the beautiful girls to this and he decided he could actually live here…
My husband is harder to convince. Although he (as European) is very Europe-minded he has to agree that this is a city that can’t be ignored. It is a city that intrigues. A place where the cost of living is extremely high -rent, expenses, taxes- but still the restaurants, clothing and technology are so much cheaper then in Europe. A city that is not only beautiful, but where there is lots of art, fashion, and not to forget the huge offer of different restaurants with a seemingly unlimited variety of dishes and tastes.
My husband is worried about his wallet. And he probably should?