New York City.
Home to 8.406 million (2013).
Only 304.6 mi².
Google defines it as "Home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and other iconic sites, New York City is a fast-paced, globally influential center of art, culture, fashion and finance."
Every person I have ever known wants to visit NYC in some point in there life.
I had the privilege of visiting this iconic city twice as a child.
The first time I went to the east coast I was eight years old, my mom went to Princeton for business and I had the honor to see one of the most beautiful campuses ever. Back then I did not know what exactly university and all that was so I declared to my family that I will go to Princeton. I thought to myself who wouldn't want to go there! Einstein had a house there!
I saw New York city from the view point of one of the millions of tourists who go there every year; however, I did not find it enchanting or as great as I had thought. To me it was just another big city with a little extra honking.
That was back then.
This year I had the most amazing opportunity to go to New York City with my school.
I didn't think twice before choosing the art trip. The early morning flight was great, but something within me was still anxious.
That all went away on the very same night. Our hotel was just a five minute walk from Time square where my group ended up eating.
This trip was very different from any other trip I had been on.
We were free to do what we wanted and go where we wanted as long as we were back by a certain time. Obviously most adults would think that the children will go crazy with so much freedom, yet I did not. It somehow felt natural to me. Walking down busy streets, paying my own bills, asking for help, taking the subway. It all came bubbling up as if the city unlocked something deep within me that was just ready to burst out. We took subways to Brooklyn, Chelsea and around the city as well.
The feeling was phenomenal since I loved walking and public transportation from growing up in Europe.
The art varied from each gallery we saw, until we went to a rather unusual bookstore. Here they sold books from anyone as long as they had a hundred copies and I thought I could do that. They had books ranging from something no one understands to the most emotional and philosophical books. But they all had something I wanted to capture but I could not quite put my finger on it yet.
I finally came up with the idea.
What really got to me on the trip was the people. Every face you pass by, every window, every car has its own specific story. Every single person is going through something quite different from the person they are sitting next to on the subway. I felt as though I was walking through a living library, but each book had a lock that could only be opened by kindness.
I wanted to write about how wonderful New York City is but I could never truly capture its essence until I have lived there myself which I hope to do in the future.
So I thought what better way to tell the story of New Yorkers than have them tell it themselves.
Imagine taking a candid picture of a 100 people on the street just going about their life (Of course letting them know about the pictures). Then putting the pictures into a book and having a few blank lines under each. Now have other New Yorkers write who they think this person is. Whenever people write about something or someone unknown we consciously or unconsciously relate it back to our own experience in life.
It is the unheard story about the people of New York by the people of New York.
My favorite part of the trip was street art.
From murals to graffiti everything just seemed to be that one subtle ingredient in the food that just makes the dish what it is and without it, it is not the same. I love it because everyone sees something different just like the pictures of people. Everyone sees a different story and as an artist it is amazing when you look through the glass of others. When people see my art and ask what it symbolizes, I tell them that they should tell me what it is. That's how art grows. without people looking and trying to understand art it will just be a canvas with paint on or a clay figure. Art is created by the people themselves. Art is the hidden story in their minds that come forth when they first lay eyes on a piece.
I hope to go to a university in New York City.
The city is no more just Empire State and Statue of Liberty to me. Yes the Statue of Liberty just gives an example of how high you can dream and achieve and the Statue of Liberty shows the independence that I love of the city and people.
The day's seemed so long and tiring yet they went by so quickly. The city brought out something in everyone that soon disappeared when we returned home. For me the city was like chocolate, once I got a taste of it I cannot get enough.
I realized the beauty of the city is not all these touristic sites, but the culture, the people, and the life-style. That is what I fell in love with. From childhood on I always knew exactly what I wanted to do in life; however, that slowly started to fade away when I started freshmen year. After that trip all I could think of was living in New York in a apartment and never getting bored because there is always something going on around the corner. The city revived me and is my inspiration.
New York City.
Home to more people than the country I grew up in.
Covers continents of culture.
I define it as "home to many different cultures, people, and a complete different life-style and a place that makes my dreams look like apples hanging from the tree. All I have to do is be daring enough to climb up and get it."