Welcome to this vibrant and always-happening Big Apple! I've travelled a lot, but returning to the diverse, bright and creative community of NYC always feels like home to me. New Yorkers "get you" as you are, and that is a most liberating feeling!
I am a former ballet/contemporary dancer-turned full-time Yoga Instructor and Ayurvedic Practitioner, and I love my work. (And nowhere is my work more needed than in this hyper-kinetic city!) I was born in Japan, but grew up in the United States, and spent about 10 of my adult years in India living, studying, and exploring the place. It feels like a second home to me, and there's still so much left to explore!
I love to travel and discover cultures, sacred places, and approaches to life. The world is as you see it, and I find it vital to my evolution as a human being to keep expanding the way I think, feel and capture life through travel, reading, and meeting people. I was recently in Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Rome for vacation and fell in love with Europe all over again. My next adventure will be to Central and South America. I can't wait!
In a similar vein, I love books and films that take you into another culture, or period in time. I just saw Beasts of the Southern Wild, and was blown away by it. It's all shot in 16mm, and just so full of life-affirming messages. I also saw the 13 Assassins, an awesome Japanese samurai film by the uber-prolific director Takashi Miike, and was awed by his brilliance as a film maker. I feel he brought the forgotten samurai culture to life in a most dynamic, engaging way.
Books I've read recently include 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, and Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. Fantastic voyages!
Five things I can't live without? Hmmm...off the top of my head, I would say:
1) An open mind . Ain't no substitute for that!
2) A discipline that liberates your body and mind, like Yoga, Surfing, dancing, whatever works.
3) Being close to Nature. This is one of the reasons I love where I live. It's a hop-skip away from Riverside Park, with Hudson River, which I dub 'the NYC Ganges'.
4) Creative self-expression. I would feel suffocated otherwise.
5) Nurturing, loving relationships.
And may I also add cultural stimulation to the list. If you ever feel a lack for inspiration, or starving for sensory/mental/spiritual food, there's always something happening here that will answer your call. Or, just sit in a sidewalk cafe and watch the people go by. You'll never be bored!
Speaking of food, I am not a foodie, but the restaurants in NYC rock! You can enjoy the culinary gems of the world on a Metrocard.
Look forward to being your host and facilitating your discovery of all that the the city has to offer!