Three Days Left; An Ode to the City of New York and A Brief Summary of My Time So Far (TheByteWeek Issue 15)

It’s a city that wakes up at night, assuming that it ever really does sleep. It’s a city of people who love where they live, and who love that they’re a part of it. It’s a city of opinions that celebrates expression, and dedicates itself to promoting ideas and possibilities. It’s a city that’s almost definitely filled with problems and troubles, but it’s a city filled with new ways to try to solve them. From what I can tell, it’s a city that people actually enjoy living in.

Honestly, New York has been leaving me absolutely fascinated; the people I’ve met have been nothing short of extraordinary, the things I’ve seen have both startled and intrigued me, and the places I’ve visited have done absolutely everything in their power to avoid boring me. I’m not even talking about the historic places, or the museums, or the even restaurants, shops, and bars, I’m referring specifically to the ordinary stuff. The people on the street who I would never get a chance to talk to, much less get to know on a personal level. I’m talking about the day to day events, and the ordinary people who don’t show up on television, online, or in most forms of mass media. The people who pay their taxes, go to work, have trouble staying in touch with friends; the people who enjoy their Saturdays and Sundays, and the people who don’t always have something happening – the regular crowd, as it were.

I’ve spent everyday of my vacation, except for last Friday and today (another Friday), going out and exploring the “Famous” parts of the city – I’ve been to the places that tourists are always instructed to go, I’ve been to the smaller places that the guidebooks claim are “A genuine slice of New York,” I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge just to see what it’s like, and I’ve been at Times Square caught in the rain twice (so I’ve already done two things romantic comedies set in this city force their protagonists to do). I’ve been to the Museum of Modern Art, FAO Schwarz, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I’ve seen the Apple Store on 5th Ave., and the flagship store for Toy “R” Us (only because they bought out FAO Schwarz sometime back), and I’ve been to Staten Island too (I barely spent anytime there, of course, because I went so I could ride the ferry and see the other islands by boat). I’ve seen Wall St., Washington Square Park, I’ve gone to Columbia University in the City of New York, and New York University, not to mention the time I spent admiring part of The New School’s campus in the Union Square Area.

I’ve spent everyday on a subway train watching as people have asked for help, money, and support, been ignored by the people around them, given us all a dirty looks, and climbed a train on the neighbouring track to spin their tales once again. I’ve even had two homeless people ask me to buy them pizza on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, which I genuinely thought would never happen in my lifetime. I’ve witnessed some of the most formidable people say some of the craziest things in some of the most random places – I say seen because I’ve tried to avoid those conversations, for obvious reasons. I’ve been to three press screenings, toured The Village’s segment of Hudson River Park, I’ve spent an hour lost looking for a Train, and I’ve had some of the best Indian food and some of the worst shawarma ever.

My point is, in nine days in New York City I’ve done a significant amount, and yet, territorially, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. I’ve walked more in these past few days than I’ve done in a significant amount of time, and yet I’ve gotten absolutely nowhere in this city. Everyone I talk to brings up another place I should visit, another sight I should see, another bakery I should enjoy, and more restaurants whose stocks need to be thoroughly reduced by unsatisfiable appetite. This city doesn’t end, and I suppose my only point is that it’s daunting, and strangely exciting, knowing that there’s still so much more to do with so little time left.

So far, I’ve spent time in the company of everyone from writers to economists to critics to homeless people, and the consensus is that New York City is one of the best places in the world; suffice it to say, I do agree, and I’m excited, if only a bit disappointed, for my next three days.

As always, this has been your Admin, the Avid Blogger; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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