Sunday, April 9, 2017

An Excerpt from New York (or... America in general)

Oh yes. This is the big one. The empire, where you do what you want, where your dreams come true. It’s the land of opportunity. The land of the free!

Said Trump.

New York city is a mosh pit of diversity and millions of people clawing their way up the ladder. Everyone wants to come here and everyone wants to leave. I think if I had to sum this city up into one word it’d be chaos. 

The streets are flooded by a symphony of car horns and angry people screaming ‘asshole.’ Mostly because everyone’s got places to be and don’t have time to wait for the walking man light up on the crosswalk sign. This is the true definition of hustle and bustle, ladies and gentlemen. But don’t worry, I haven’t seen anyone get run over yet. How tragic that would be to mine eyes.

Since we’re already getting a feel for New Yorkers, allow me to go on. I’m not new to the ‘city life,’ I live in London, but these people are batshit crazy. I forget how open Americans are, they just don’t give a shit! Talk about taking land of the free literally. Did you hear about the guy that killed a man with a sword because he didn’t like black people? Not a joke. I’m sure you could find every type of person and language in this city. I walked through Union Square the other day and an Asian man wearing massive headphones was circling and screaming (or rapping, who knows), and just a few steps later a line of guys were chanting from a bible behind posters with a diagram of the devil and America will burn. And just after, another man passed by and (non discretely) yelled, “ah, I hate that kinda shit!” Then there are the ones that tell you to move from 10 feet away, the girls gossiping about their friends, and the other ones that don’t seem to have a clue. It’s astonishing! I don’t understand how people can be utterly oblivious to absolutely everything. 

From what I understand, many come to New York (or America in general) because there’s opportunity. Now is there really? Well, that’s for another time. I think the real opportunity in a big city is the amount of perspective you get. You see all walks of life; the struggle; the success; the poor and the wealthy side by side. It’s all about the things you see and the people you meet, and it’s all here. It’s ironic because a majority of them have probably never seen outside of it. They don’t leave because they don’t feel the need to––they have everything they’ll ever need. That’s how a big city can turn people’s lives into a small world.

The best part about about this place is that you access to the best shows, great events, and any type of food you want. It exciting, it’s busy, it’s a show it itself. The downside is, it’s a tough place to live in. It’s expensive, there’s competition, and if you’re not on wall street or on TV you’re probably spending most of your time in a restaurant. It’s one of those places where people reach their peak or hit rock bottom. Especially if you didn’t grow up here. Let me tell you––I’ve been to several big cities by myself and done myself just fine––I can not figure out the subway system here for the life of me. For one, there are multiple lines running on the same track. The 5 and 6 stop here… and sometimes the 4. Jesus Christ, whose idea was it to name the trains numbers and letters? ’Take the 7 to Grand Central then take the L to 200th St then the B to 700289th St.’ And then, you have to walk about 100 steps down just to get to the train, to find that it’s not on that platform because you have to walk down further, so you do, then by the time you find it the train doors are closing and it’s taking off without you. Then you get to your destination and have to walk back up the 100 steps. And it’s no going to change because this is what New Yorkers are used to. 

So deal with it. 

I must say, there’s much to be seen here (even if you don’t want to), but I’m still at a discomfort in terms of where this country is as a whole. I was astonished to see so many Trump products and posters. There was shirt that had a picture of Trump and Make America great again! on it, displayed in front on the store. Also mind that this was on the border of Little Italy and China Town. And the amount of struggle you witness throughout everyday is a little heart wrenching. Most people won’t say anything because they’re used to it, but I’ll allow it to change my perspective in one way or another. 


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Maira Gall