A few days ago I arrived in New York City and began my three week long trip. The night before the flight I was a mess of nerves, with an abundance of fears and anxieties plaguing my mind. I was afraid, afraid that I wouldn’t fit in with the group or that I would fall ill and be unable to see the city for all its chaotic beauty. I say chaotic because that is in essence what New York has felt like so far. Upon arriving in New York I felt overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and smells of a city full of life. This isn’t my first time in a big city, but it is my first time in New York, which is, without a doubt, a city like no other. The buildings tower over the bustling crowds and cars screeched at each other in a sort of constant chattering along with the rumbling of the subway beasts below. Everything was moving, everyone had somewhere to go and I felt lost in this chaos.
There never seems to be a moment of silence. The cliche that New York City is the city that never sleeps has proven to be true. Even though the sun has fallen below the horizon, the city is no less alive. Neon lights replace the sun light and illuminate the busy streets of avenues such as Broadway and East 14th street. Food carts emit savory and smoky smells that tempt me to stuff my face with Italian sausage or lamb gyros. It is a shame that my stomach isn’t large enough for all this amazing looking food. I would eat like a king if I could. I have done my best though, eating typical New York food like pizza, deli sandwiches, among other delicious treats.
Along with satisfying my stomach, New York has given my eyes plenty to enjoy as well. Just by walking down the streets I have seen beautiful 20th century buildings juxtaposed with towering skyscrapers and sensed the thread that connects the old with the new. New York City is a world of contradictions: old and new, organic and geometric, pristine and grimy. All of these contradicting elements work together instead of clashing. It’s a beautiful mixture, one unlike anything I have ever seen before in the United States. The people are just as diverse as the other elements of the city. People from all over the world walk these streets, bringing with them their rich culture. Chinese, Indian, British, French, Puerto Rican, Nigerian, Italian, and many other cultures exist side by side. With all of these elements and diverse cultures, New York City is very much like a kaleidoscope. I am excited to see what else the city has to offer.