The city of dreams

october 15, 2017

The city of dreams

Shella got off the plane. All her life she wanted to come here, to New York and to take a deep breath from the local air while stepping out of the plane as she has seen it on the movies. She wished she wouldn’t have done! The slightly fat man walking in front of her had such a strong mix of onion-meatloaf and body odour that Shella nearly started to express her disgust in loud.


“No worries” she said to herself. “Not the first sniff matters, but the fact that from now on I will be breathing in this air every day.”

She looked down to the ground and she gave up her following, movie-inspired idea: she decided it will be better if she is not going to start kissing the ground. However she planned it allso well!

Yes, she was tending to plan everything and to do everything as if she was the main character of a classic Hollywood movie. Once she got through customs, she put her earpiece in and she started to play on her phone ‘New York’ by Alicia Keys. The following song on her track list was of course Frank Sinatra. She loved these two songs, sometimes she was listening to these songs all day long in original or to their various versions. Despite of the majority she didn’t come to the city to find her dream career or her dream man: for her, New York was the dream itself. A simple job, a small apartment was already waiting for her, but she didn’t mind any of them, she didn’t want anything else but to walk down these streets every single day.


“I got a pocket full of dreams” she was humming together with the singer and she never felt so close this song when she joined the people waiting for a taxi. It seemed that she was approximately the 364th person trying to catch a taxi at the New York airport. She tried to convince herself that it is all ok, as this is also part of the experience: she sat down on her suitcase and slightly sadly started to gaze at the dirty asphalt, the impatient people, who were not smiling at all, the chewing gum stuck on her shoes and the very colourful taxi drivers joining the queue of taxis picking up the passengers, who seem to have been arriving from all over the world. But finally it was her turn.

“ and where you want to go?” asked the driver with an accent she was unable to understand.

“I am sorry?”

“Where you going? Where do you want to go?”

“Ah. Where to you are asking. To the city centre.”

“Eh? The city centre is huge.”

“Well, go to the Times Square.” Shella of course as usual already saw herself dancing and singing in the middle of the square and the local residents were joining her with a big smile and she tried to ignore that instead of the city of her dreams for now she has been seeing hundred-lane motorways all around her. Somehow the “Right to the very heart of it – New York, New York” tune was just not fitting what she was seeing.

The square was another disappointment. Not only because she had to give nearly all her cash to the taxi driver she had on her, which she thought would be enough for the first week.. , but also because the place was full up with tourists, who were stepping on each other’s feet, fell over her suitcase, and were taking photographs in her face and in general you could just not move because of the crowds. She wasn’t in the mood for singing; what’s more she even took out her earpiece. It was no use; she could not get into the mood.

“Well, I am not going to give up.” she said to herself. She took out her phone and with her GPS she found out which metro line out of the 28 lines will take her to the Brooklyn Bridge. She decided that she is not going to go to her place of accommodation until she enjoys the true atmosphere of New York. The city, which she has been dreaming of since her childhood cannot disappoint her that much!

In half an hour time she was standing on the embankment of the East River and she was mesmerised by the monumental construction. As a girl living in a countryside small town, she couldn’t imagine that such large building would ever exist, even though she has seen it thousand times on photos and in movies, it still seemed to be always a lot smaller. Now she was standing in front of her with her slim, large and beautiful shape. As it was a weekday morning, there were relatively few tourists about and the traffic was place in a very clever way so she felt that she had the bridge only for herself.

At this very moment – as if she would have been in a movie- the sun came out and shone on the pillars of the bridge and a good-looking guy coming towards her gave a nice smile to her.

Shella took out her phone and despite of the crowd she started to play her favourite song. She didn’t care about anything, she enthusiastically started to dance and sing, exactly the way she always imagined: she was home, she arrived.

Here finally she can live happily ever after.

But there was a long way to go until then.


Tímea Barkóczi: New York

Nagy Tímea  *  *  +36 30 381 6721

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