June 26, 2010 7:15:00 PM
"Start spr-eading the news. I''m leaving today. I''m gonna be a part of it, New York, New York!"
It''s true. By the time you read these words, I will be in the big city of bright lights. The first time I went to the Big Apple, the first thing I wanted to do was find that oh-so-familiar spot in Times Square where the big ball drops via the television sets of millions of Americans (including my family) on New Year''s Eve each year. I did it. I was far from home, but all the days of my adolescence I had marveled at the feelings that scene evokes in me -- the throng of every possible diversity of American life all piled into a few acres of pavement.
Like many of the immigrants who came through Ellis Island, I had found my love. I had arrived physically and geographically in the city that symbolizes dreams that come true, but emotionally I had made it as well. That was my moment in my New York.
And now, after spending many holidays keeping time with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, perusing the pristine corridors of Saks, Neiman Marcus and Blooming-dales, and star gazing during picnics in Central Park, I am no amateur tourist. I have racked up more than my share of frequent flyer miles and even more stories from China Town, Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Park Avenue.
I love NYC. The fashion is euphoric. On a street on the upper west side is where I met supermodel Heidi Klum, for crying out loud. And, yes, she is indeed just that beautiful, and even friendly!
I have inhaled Prada, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci and exhaled without getting dizzy. You have not truly lived if you are a "fashionista" like me until standing in a flagship store of Gucci or Chanel in the very spot where Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker has stood. That''s the thing about this town. It''s a mecca of fashion and famous folk.
In the Soho area, I once stopped to peer into a glass window of a bakery only to hear a woman''s voice alongside me say, "Hmm, mouthwatering!" It was Susan Sarandon just walking past. Sandra Bullock once passed by me on the sidewalk in Chinatown, big sunglasses, dark jeans and that smile that headlines movies.
New York means amazing adventures flavored with firsts, and lasts, I''m afraid. We liked to eat at Tavern on the Green before it recently closed its doors, and I recall so many curtain calls of Broadway performances. My favorites were Bea Arthur''s one-woman show and Ashley Judd was indeed a "cat on a hot tin roof." The absence of the twin towers leaves a forever-altered skyline, but a renewed admiration for the city that never sleeps.
So, I am most definitely up my eyeballs right now in all the sights, sounds and magic of New York City, and my question to all of you is, "Why wait?" Go for the first time, second time, 14th time. Fall in love, or fall in love again, with America''s city. It will inspire you!
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.