New York – You either love it or you hate it!

Well, I don’t know about hating it! That’s a pretty severe word with lots of negative undertones. Not even dislike sits with me, but I must say, that despite the amount of time I spend here, the various things I do, and the many things I experience, it just doesn’t float the proverbial boat for me! It’s not so much what I DON’T like about it, as much as there’s not much that I DO like about it! It’s hard to explain. I must say though, that people watching has been fantabulous! The pressure to conform in this huge metropolis is overwhelming…and on all levels. EVERYONE is targetted!

I popped in to McDonald’s briefly this morning (you’d be horrified Harry!)….to go to the toilet (most of you would know how I feel about this conglomerate, capitalist , brain washing giant) and……………I was mortified to see that they had a new marketing campaign. Not only do they still have the “You better buy me a Happy Meal WITH a toy mum or you’re a bitch” deal still going on, but now there’s a new range of “cuddly” toys for the consumer aged under 3 years of age!!!! Does that come with a french fries smoothie, or a mashed Big Mac? Breathe in, breathe out!

Then there are the infamous Madison and 5th Avenues. These streets are basically door to door of designer label wear and accessories. So, there we were, Alex and I looking EVERY part the tourists; shirts, t-shirt, shorts, hiking shoes, backpack, when I decided that we just HAD to walk into the Versace store. (That was just after having walked past a store called H&M, who not only had Madonna plastered all over the facade, but which had accompanying commentaries to the tune of if you were anything even remotely resembling cool, you’ d be in that store and buyin’ some booty!) So, in we walk, and we were flabergasted! Again, I beleive that fashion, like beauty, is subjective, but then who and what decides what is beautiful? And so there we had it, a lot of tacky, ostentatious, overpriced and tasteless pieces which WERE none-the-less, Versace pieces. I understand that people buy designer wear due to a number of different reasons and factors, but I could not help but feel an overwhelming sense of sadness for those whom have become the victims of “life sculpting” ( Let me dictate what, how and why you should dress and act in a certian manner) whilst also feeling overwhelmigly happy that neither Alex nor I are part of this merry-go-round.

I picked up a little badge at a little street stall last Sunday, and have pinned it to my bag. It reads, ” Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”. It made me think in depth, which is what I would like to keep doing every second of this trip. It is about awareness! This does not necessarily relate to anything I have written above, but it’s some food for thought.


(Images Top: Brazilian Festival on 6th Av. Manhattan Centre: Wanderers on 5th Av. Bottom: Ground Zero memorial.)

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Alex & Ombi

Alex & Ombi

Ombretta (Ombi) Zanetti is a co-founder of She has been travelling the world since 1989 and since 1999 with her partner, Alex, who hails from Ecuador. They both like to venture to the lesser known places. Ombi shares her passion for different cultures through her travel stories and Alex through his lens. Come take a detour or two with them!

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