Monday, October 5, 2015

Illuminations 10.5.15

I can’t remember when it was that i decided that I wanted to move to New York. I’ve been trying to remember these past few days and nothing comes to mind except for this gut feeling that I had when I was a kid. I was probably 9 or 10 when I first visited New York and since that moment I just knew. Just like when people know they want to be veterinarians, or artists, or teachers - I knew I wanted to live in New York. But why? What was it about New York that put me in such a rapture?

To figure it out, I even unpacked my old diaries. 

For the two and half years that I've lived in New York, I have barely touched them. I treat my old diaries like relics - they're my past feelings and selves, all wrapped up in different composition books, all hidden away until I open them up to read my old handwriting again, to read how different I was. If there ever is a fire in my house, these would be the things that I would like to grab before I scram to safety. These are the things that I hold most valuable. And these are the things that told me nothing about why I decided to move to New York. Sure, I explain how excited I am to be visiting or living here. But I'm not descriptive: I mention the things that I'll miss, I mention how I look forward to live with my older brothers, I mention how scared I am, but nothing about why I had made up my mind to live here.

I went for a bike ride (even though the weather was ugly and cold and very, very windy) because I needed to clear my head. As I passed through honking cars, wind gusts that almost knocked me down, people who never respect the cross lights, and streets that indicated that I clearly took the wrong turn, I realized that I'm happy that I live in New York. 

I realized this because as I was getting frustrated with everything that was surrounding me, I came across one of the most marvelous houses I had ever seen - all its exterior was encrusted with beads and trinkets, making the exterior of the house look like a unique and majestic mosaic. And just like that it hit me; New York is full of these hidden gems. Sometimes they are better known, other times, they are just unique to you.

For example, did you know that if you take the 6 train from the last stop and then continue to ride it till the first stop, you can see an abandoned station?

Did you know that there is a 3,600 square feet room in SoHo that is filled with dirt since 1977?

The artist, Walter De Maria, with his creation The New York Earth Room
Did you know that in Grand Central Terminal, next to the Oyster bar, there is a whispering gallery? If you and a friend stand at diagonal archs, you can hear each other's whispers.

Did you know that there is a point in DUMBO in which the legs of the Manhattan bridge form a perfect frame for the Empire State Building?

I bet you can take a much better picture then the one I did

Did you know that there are forgotten old painted advertisements all throughout the city?

These I found in different parts of Brooklyn

Did you know that people love decorating their houses in weird, mysterious ways?

I never found this house again

It wasn't even Halloween when I took this picture

What does this even mean!?

Ah New York, you're so eccentric. 

So, no, I don't know why I decided to move here in the first place. But I sure am happy that I made this choice. It hasn't always been easy, but when I find a hidden gem, I can't help but smile. Every time I feel like I'm done with New York, it gives me reasons to keep loving it. 

One thing is for sure though, I never thought I would treat a city as if it were a person. 

- Alana

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