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New York Part II
Traveling is always something I’m willing to do. The thought of going to a place and walking around and noticing all the small things and being able to take pictures and being able to try new things is just fun. When traveling to such an overrated place like New York, the excitement builds even more. When you think of the east coast, it’s New York. For the west coast, it’s Los Angeles. People forget there’s Chicago…but I’m not jealous or anything as you can tell already 🙂 But regardless, traveling to New York wasn’t the reason, it was for a buddies engagement. It happened to be in New York so I decided to give sightseeing another try.
A friend and I spend literally hours and hours and miles and miles walking around the city in the short 1.25 days we had. Getting off the train at 33rd street and beginning to walk toward the lights was exciting. In the middle of the dark humid night, we can see the lights from Times Square bleeding into the night sky. We get closer and closer, blue and red flashing on some of the screens give me flashbacks of getting pulled over for speeding. As we criss-cross up the streets. We begin to pass small businesses that seem out of date. We pass random tables and chairs in the middle of the streets where men in business suits share a coffee with a comrade while a couple sit in the next table eating a meal together. Trying to take it all in, I begin to notice food stalls lining the streets. Hot dogs, chicken schwarma, funnel cakes…mmmmm…I take a deep breath to taste it, but my nostrils are filled with the rotting food in the black garbage bags in front of each restaurant.
We reach the center of Times Square. Our eyes have to readjust with all the light filling them. It’s so late at night, yet stores like Toys’R’Us have lines trying to see people dressed in Storm Trooper outfits. Foot Locker has there doors open inviting night owls to shop for the retro Jordan’s. There’s random chairs which are filled with strangers people watching. I see a gentleman selling tour bus tickets. I look the other way and don’t make eye contact wanting to not be harassed. I try leaving my camera in shoulder bag because I feel uncomfortable taking it out with so many people…I question myself…Why am I not standing here in total awe? We look to cross the street and see a crowd standing at the corner. We walk over, and see scantily clad women blocking the main street in protest for some reason no one seems to know. Why am I not enjoying the accomplishments of mankind when looking at all the technology and wealth in these few blocks? I turn my head to see grown men lying on benches using their duffel bags as pillows. Why does my heart begin to break as I begin to squint while trying to see the advertisements on these 2 floor lcd screens? We cross another street and see what looks like a girl in her 20’s holding a cardboard sign that ends with “anything will help”…Why am I beginning to get angry? We walk pass a man yelling at what seems to be his girlfriend, “This is not working!” I look back and see the woman in tears and at a loss of words. Why am I disgusted by where I walk? My friend asks me ‘Did you see the size of that cockroach?’ He tells me not to step on them because sometimes the eggs can stick to your shoes and you’ll bring them around with you…
I’m confused…Looking at pictures from my camera, you might be in awe of what Times Square looks like. You may remember that this city contains wealth and flashy cars and sidewalks which contain people who seem to have walked right out of a fashion magazine. Yet, why am I feeling like this? No, it’s not because it’s New York…It’s because I’ve been just reminded that we as humans are lost. We are messed up. We don’t care for each other. We don’t have it all together. We are not wealthy. We are not good people…If we were, we wouldn’t see so much hurt. We wouldn’t see so much pain. We wouldn’t be so superficial. Seeing things like that makes me want to do more with what I have. But it has to start from within. What do we have inside us that will drive us to be the difference?
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” -Proverbs 4:23