Cereal: Lincoln Center
It was summer 2011 when Ifirst clapped eyes on Lincoln Center. The city was a hot labyrinth of asphalt and tinfoil skyscrapers glinting in the afternoon sun, and I was a tourist, wide eyed and awestruck by my first visit to a place I’d only ever seen on celluloid. I’d been whisked from JFK’s heaving heart toThe Beacon Hotel on the leafy Upper West Side, where the streets were wide and, as I realised when I moved to the East Village 18 months later, comparatively clean. I asked the driver if I could sit up front so I could see the city, and he agreed, pointing out landmarks along the way, “ There’s the UN, Times Square is thataway.” He told me in his thick New Jersey accent when we pulled up that riding in the front was, “you know, kind of a faux pas.” I dropped my bags and hit the streets, sultry and humming in the early evening, quickly losing any sense of direction. I confused Broadway for Columbus Avenue, and ended up right in front of it. Lincoln Center, with its monumental entrance, majestic arches, and dancing fountain, felt instantly familiar, a quintessential New York landmark, looming in the summer twilight. Not wanting to stray too far from the hotel, I wandered around the iconic main plaza before finding a spot by the fountain, where I watched guests arrive in suits and cocktail dresses for a performance atThe Metropolitan Opera House.