The reputation of New York is one unlike any other; one with characteristics from the brutal and depravity of slums populated with the unemployed to the glamorous lifestyle of the scandalous rich and famous. There is an aura around the city in which people are drawn to it like a drug addict; a fiend for a fix, a mysterious atmosphere in which people are thrown into a boisterous, fast paced lifestyle in which the outcome solemnly depends on the character of yourself and your determination to succeed. Moving there to prosper is like getting thrown into a hurricane head first, down one road there lays success and happiness and down another there are dark allies filled with sketchy people ready to be your escort to hell, as Frank Sinatra said “If you can make it New York, you can make it anywhere.”
I find myself excited, interested and somewhat curious about the lifestyle up in New York. Growing up in a small beach town where the people are pretty and the weather is gorgeous all year long, Jupiter Fl is too surreal, I feel like there has to be something more, something deeper. I find myself being pulled into the big city life by my curiosity, by my adventurous and independent nature. It’s my senior year in high school and the rest of my life is up to me, my biggest problem is that there are so many opportunities and at this point in time anything is possible in my life. It is so hard to make a decision but there is something about New York.
I have been to cities all of my life but never New York and finally I managed to talk my “I hate big cities” father into taking me to go tour schools, Nassau Community College at that. Flying up to Islip, Long Island the anticipation in my stomach grew and I couldn’t sleep the entire plane ride. The night before I was up until 4am packing and my plane left at 7am. As the plane neared Long Island, through the clouds the city was visible on the horizon, the Jay-z song New York was playing over and over in my head like a song stuck on replay. Talking to various people on the plane, everyone seemed to have this stand-offish attitude about the city, an attitude that came off as if they were scared to talk about it, as if I was crazy for wanted to go to school here. It didn’t matter to me now though; I was ready for the city.
After being checked in and watching the Nassau women’s lacrosse game my father and I thought it would be fun to go into the city for dinner, after all we were only a thirty minute train ride away. That moment on, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and the giddy little girl inside of me came out. Getting ready I couldn’t help but add a skip in my step and dance around the hotel room. The next train was leaving in thirty minutes and the train station was fifteen so we decided to walk, it was a nice breezy night.
Contrasting Florida’s temperature, in Westbury the temperature was 55, perfect; cold enough for a jacket but not freezing! The walk to the train station took a little while but along the walk I got to see some local bars and shops. Making it to the train station there were some people waiting, my dad being the tourist he is managed to get into a conversation with everyone about where to go, sights to see and even people who have perished on the train tracks. The people wrote my dad and me off after a while but one boy, about my age, seemed intrigued and happy that he could help out. The boy, Scott, gave us the ins and outs of where to go and where to eat; arriving in the Penn Station he even agreed to lead us out up to Madison Square Garden (thank GOD considering that train station is so confusing).
I’ve heard about the train station and the subways but never seen it myself, seeing it for the first time was a trip. Underneath the ground there were food venders everywhere, people walking in all different directions, if you didn’t watch where you were going you would run into someone no doubt about that. Everyone was so different, at 8 o’clock at night there were business people, construction workers, people of every type of ethic backgrounds, girls going clubbing, beggars, bums, EVERYTHING! It was loud, I was speechless and my dad was talking to Scott while he was leading us up. At last there it was, the escalators up to the city, the anticipation in my stomach went from a 10 to a 1 million and the smile across that I lost from the craziness came back.
I’m in the heart of New York City. There were lights everywhere and so many taxis lined up one behind each other, people yelling and laughing. In two nights my father and I managed to see Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and Madison square garden. Time seemed to fall by the wayside, it felt like I had been there for a week and by the last day I was exhausted and my brain fried. My “I hate big cities” father fell in love with the city and instantly wanted me to go to school there.
In the City of Lights it’s hard to watch where you are walking because you are always looking up and now I finally see how many people lose their footing. There is something about New York that is so intriguing and my three days of going only made me want more. The city brought out the reality of hustle in everyday life and showed me that in order to get to the top it is necessary to work my way up. I plan to go to school there in the fall and start the rest of my life and I tell myself if the aura of the city that has pulled me in, not in a bad way, but just in an ambitious way.
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