New York has to be my favourite city, although Rome, Paris, London and Cape Town, are all up there.
There's something magical about New York, when you get away from the tourist spots, and see how New Yorkers really live, although the West Village probably isn't how most New Yorkers live as the rents can be sky high, unless you're super lucky and live in a rent controlled apartment!
It has so many diverse neighbourhoods to discover, and each time I go, I try to see somewhere new, somewhere different. It is a forever changing city in some ways, as there's always a new restaurant or bar opening, but in so many ways, it stays the same, year in, year out.
There's always the same parks to hang out in (Washington Square is an old favourite), the same place to get your nails done (Thompson St Nails for me), the same great shops (C.O. Bigelow - a fab apothecary) and some of the same great restaurants (Cafe Cluny serving a great brunch since 2006 and Strip House a lovely steak since 2000), and that's why it feels like coming home as there's a sense of familiarity.
The other thing that marks out New York as familiar, is the scents and the smells. The scents can be the fabulous food at the many fabulous restaurants, the fragrances shared by a 'department store fragrance spritzer', the assortment of plants and flowers along the High Line, and the scent of freshly cut grass in one of the parks, all bestowing their scents for us to appreciate.
The smells on the other hand, well they are not always so welcome, there's a smell of rotting rubbish on some streets, the distinctive smell of charred nuts from the street vendors, the unmistakable smell of steam from the subway, the smell of marijuana as you walk past some parked cars or the most unwelcome smell of urine on the city streets.
As unwelcome as some of them are, all these different scents and smells together are what makes New York city distinct from other cities. When you retire to your room, it's great to have one of our travel candles with you, it'll remove all the assaults on the senses. Our Spiced Noir travel candles have a welcome heady mix of wood, musk and sweet spice, which remind me of some of the sophisticated neighbourhoods of NYC.
And that's why it's great to explore the different neighbourhoods as you never know what scent (or smell) you might discover next.