From New York

Back from New York. Happy to be back home in Portland, but I can't even begin to describe how life changing this trip was.

Here are some iPhone photos because I haven't gotten around to editing my DSLR shots yet. Please take the quality with a grain of salt.

I do plan to write a more in depth post about the trip, but there were a few key takeaways that really took my breath away.

- The energy is exactly what I had hoped it would be. There is no city that can compare to the consistent hustle that exists there. I cannot put into words how beautiful it was to see so many people of so many backgrounds everywhere.

- The architecture is beyond beautiful. The historic and new skyscrapers are a sight to behold. New York has some of the most talented architects in the US and it shows. Every building is deliberate here and nothing really feels out of place. They all belong together in beautiful harmony.

- As much as the MTA gets a bad wrap, it's efficient, makes regular stops, was on time, and if you miss one train, you can expect to see another within 15 minutes. Not to mention, I could walk anywhere in Manhattan and catch a train within a few blocks.

- The diversity was mindblowing. I cannot express how genuinely beautiful it was to hear so many languages and see so many ethnicities in such a small area. I crave NYC for that reason alone.

- Each neighborhood is strong and unique. A lot of US cities feel very homogeneous and each neighborhood slowly "flows" into the next. That was not the case here. I very easily could tell when I was leaving one neighborhood and walking into another. It creates a sense of community and connection in an otherwise massive megacity.

- It was clean. And I mean clean. I am unsure why New York gets such a bad wrap for being dirty. I walked all over Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and saw next to no garbage on the sidewalks -- significantly less than I see daily in Portland. So impressive for a city of its size.

- People are not rude in the slightest. They are just busy and overwhelmed by the sheer number of other people around them. There is no time to chat - just get what you need to done and move on. I think that is lovely in its own regard.

Those are some key takeaways. Again, New York changed my life in such a short amount of time I am already well overdue for another visit and will certainly be back soon. I plan on writing a more in depth overview, but wanted to share something since it was so powerful.