Travelling to New York in April you notice that it’s still much colder there than in Europe. There was a major blizzard right before we arrived in 2018 (the last one in the season), and the mood in the city was rather grim. Though it’s not a bad time to visit the city as it was not as packed as I usually imagine it to be. There were some quiet moments to have, even in busy Manhattan. Time to look around and observe the last moments of winter right before the dawn of spring.
The most astounding thing about the far east as I experienced it in Japan is that it is a busy place with people and cars everywhere you look, but still it is impossibly quite and calm at the same time. There is hardly any shouting on the sidewalks and beeping on the streets. Even cyclists won’t beep when passing by closely, but will rather slow down. There is an important sense of courtesy and carefulness in play here that can seem very foreign to a Westerner. Of course the culture is closely linked to the religions of the region, mostly Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan. So the feeling of quietness and serenity can be best understood in and around religious temples and shrines, which also tend to be beautiful places overall.