One recurring idea that comes to mind in New York is how I am getting to encounter the city I’ve never been to but heard so much about, and how my encounters change the perceptions that I’ve had so long of the city. While visiting the Museum of Natural History, I knew that I had to see the blue whale – the largest animal that ever existed – in the hall of ocean life. I expected it be big of course, but upon seeing it I was still amazed at its enormity. Even my picture of it doesn’t capture how massive this thing was.
I know from experiences like these that hearing about and experiencing something just don’t compare, so when preparing to come to New York, I tried to keep this in mind because I knew that what I experienced and saw was going to be different from what I thought that I was going to experience and see.
It’s weird and kind of difficult trying to prepare for something that I’ve never experienced. Every time I’ve tried in the past, it turns out different than I expected, so in a way I tried to prepare by wiping away all my expectations. I’ve heard countless times about the size of the city, but I knew that in my head, I couldn’t help but thinking it was smaller than it really is. I think this has to do with the countless aerial pictures of the city that I’ve seen, changing the multitudes of buildings into miniature structures that I couldn’t accurately scale up to actual size in my head. Movies and TV also don’t help either, which flash images of Times Square and other iconic landmarks way too often. I knew that even with all the images and video, there was so much more to it than I thought. By telling myself this, I felt that I better prepared myself for the city and made myself more excited for the adventure of the trip. After being here long enough to have some kind of substantial experience, I have confirmed that once again the experience outweighs the expectation.