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     Volume 8 Issue 84 | August 28, 2009 |

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Falling in Love with NYC

Nabila Chowdhury

Central Park, New York

Some intelligent man once said," There is no space for slow-comers in New York city." He was right. Every breath, every heartbeat is filled with speed in this city. People are always in a hurry. In a hurry to leave home, in a hurry to reach the office, in a hurry to reach school, in a hurry to catch the morning cup of coffee, always in a hurry to be a step or two ahead of life. There is no place for someone who cannot cope with this strict straight forward schedule.

I have unexpectedly fallen in love with New York City. Living in the most populous city in the United States, with its major focus on diversity, culture, finance, fashion and entertainment, I've been referred to as Bangladeshi-American from just being a Bangladeshi these days. As I currently complete my under-graduate degree, I discover bits of the city with every passing day in the simplest ways one can ever think of. I love being in the mashed crowd, with an agenda of going in a direction. I revel in the pace, the rush, my neighbours running around me, with an expression that they all need to be somewhere at this very moment. I'm proud of the sting of business that surrounds me. I take pleasure in giving a smile to a stranger without having a selfish motive. I love calling out to a child in a stroller, "How cute," and how the parent says politely a, "thank you," back and we continue in our own directions.

Tourists take over the city almost every season. New York is welcoming to its visitors all the time, and seeing their awed faces often leaves me chuckling to myself. Some of the best places to visit at its best time include: Fairway in the late afternoon; Central Park in the morning; Times Square at 4am; Hudson River Park, nearing sunset; Brooklyn Bridge late at night; Downtown on Friday night; 96th St-Broadway subway station. Taking a quiet after-noon walk in Battery Park; Koreatown; Michael Musto; Union Square. There is music in the air. A stroll past Madison Avenue shops late at night is breathe-taking.

Diversity plays a strong role in New York City. There are faces that can be seen from every corner of the world. People around me speak French, or Polish or Russian or simply Spanish. I'm always enlightened in meeting them and listening to their music, or tasting their home cooked Spanish rice, or trying on kimonos on college night and slowly learning to walk in it.

Times Square

One of the best things about New York is it's public transport system. There are underground subways, buses and taxis available travelling anywhere and everywhere that you need to go. Tourists find great ease and convenience in this system and do not face any trouble in reaching their desired location. All one needs to know is the correct route and the correct F, A, or R train or simply the accurate q25, or M 25 bus. The best part is also the fare. Whether you are travelling for a mile or 100 miles, the fare remains the same for everyone. I take a long one-hour ride to my college every morning. I love the brief moment of wait for the under-ground subway and the vague sound of it from afar, as the roaring loud engine slowly comes to a stop in front of me. I love how the passengers, who happen to be strangers mostly stare at your shoes, and not at your face. It makes me comfortable. I like observing a stranger, behind his dark shades. Makes me wonder whether they are sleeping, or actually looking straight ahead? I always take interest in reading the various listings of advertisements as I ride the vehicle. Great stuff.

New York's weather is very unusual. It could be raining, snowing, a perfect sunny day may turn out unexpectedly. Everyone is sick of the freezing cold and the icy wind during winter. However, it is one of the most beautiful sights I've experienced in the past years when it snows. I enjoy walking under the white snow, wrapped around in a long overcoat, woollen gloves and hat, heavy long boots and head to my favourite coffee place. I love the famous Starbucks selling coffee to a happy work crowd. I love the aroma of coffee as soon as I walk in. I like to observe the business people who discuss big business matters. I like sitting in the high chairs, and do a bit of quiet reading while drinking my coffee. It's very soothing to the soul after a long tiring day of lectures or work.

December is especially beautiful in New York City. Everyone prepares for the big Christmas day celebrations followed by the welcoming of the New year. I love the jolly spirit, the bright coloured illuminated lights that fill the streets, the sound of jingle bells and Christmas songs playing everywhere, the merry laughter, the red Santa hats, ties and gloves worn by almost every passerby it is an amazing scene. Hidden smiles reappear in everyone's faces. I love how the biggest shopping places lists the biggest sale of the year, to see people run around and shop for their loves ones, as they spend money like millionaires. How the season's greeting cards row is filled with the old and the young, as they search for thoughtful writings, accompanied by whispering, soft giggles and tiny chuckles. The sight takes over me.

New York is very strict when it comes to maintaining laws. Take the driving and the parking laws. If one fails to follow the listed sign, and park at the wrong place, at the wrong time, the traffic police surprises you with a written ticket that must be paid. With all means, I respect every law here because it allows the residents to live a safe and healthy life. The residents are always free to call 911, which is the police department and report as simple as a verbal street abuse or a murder that they witnessed, and the department is available to help at all times. Family, neighbours, and friends do not fear to walk out of their houses even at mid-night because the neighbourhood is regularly patrolled by police. There are organisations for the homeless who care enough to get them to homes, for the elderly. The homeless are served food, on the evening of Thanksgiving Day.

There is so so much more to New York City. It is quite is impossible for one to write it all just at one time.

Yet, for all the reasons given and much more,
I have fallen hard for New York City.


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