Everyone is entitled to an opinion therefore everyone is entitled to their own New York. Every New York has it’s story and will vary from person in accordance to their experiences as a New Yorker. For some it may be the towering buildings of Manhattan or the beautiful walls of what used to be the 5 Pointz building, whatever it may be it has one thing in common it’s someone’s New York. Colson Whitehead author of “The Colossus of New York” explains what his New York is and the experiences behind them are. My task was to follow Whitehead’s footsteps and find my New York with the added twist of a juxtaposition and how it makes New York even more unique in the way it merges poorer neighborhoods with the more richer ones.

When beginning my journey I had an easy time finding things that juxtapose one another but my main issue was finding my New York the experiences that actually meant something to me because of this I was able to find the location but not the meaning or feeling that such a walk should have. After a couple of days it clicked to me my New York was my friends that I’ve made here in college but my friends aren’t a location rather the places we went to are the some of the locations that make up my New York and will continue to do so as I spend time with them here in City Tech and Jay street. The location of these places are pretty simple to follow, one must first start off by exiting out of the Johnson side of City Tech upon doing so you should be greeted by sounds of construction and the sight of a yet unfinished project, make a left and keep on going straight you should cross a train station with connections to the A,C and R trains. As you walk for a minute or two you will see a concession stand with people at times however there is another train with connection to the number lines, head over there but do not go in the train instead head straight through the trail with trees. Once you encounter the Five Guy’s restaurant make a left and walk. Upon walking the Juxtaposition should start to become evident with the buildings starting to look a little more run down and less new than they are in Jay Street.  Continue walking straight and a few things you will see are the Asa Learning Center, a blood donation center if you walk even further you will eventually come across the Fulton Mall. My original journey was slightly longer but had no real attachment to the area since I had no memories that were particularly important to me, however once I made a few friends and went around making a few friends I see that my New York is slowly but surely becoming evident.

My location in specific lies between Fulton mall and Lawrence Street to me this a rather unique juxtaposition it shows a small section that in a sense is slowly being consumed by it’s surroundings Whitehead experiences this with many of the buildings he never got to say goodbye to “I never got to say goodbye to some of the old buildings. Some I lived in… I thought they would always be there.” This small section between Lawrence and Fulton looks rather old compared to the areas around it, everyone here was mostly casually dressed and seemed to be of a somewhat low income with the occasional professional who is by assumption making their way through to make it to a job or coffee. The Willoughby area is saturated with small stores like 99c stores, corner stores and raggedy looking restaurants however there is also some chain restaurants like Tio Pio here and there but oddly enough no franchises such as  Mcdonalds in the Willoughby area which is odd as restaurants like these tend to thrive off the low income ares such as this one. As for the sounds I heard it ranges from voices to car noises with the occasional construction here and there which in a way serves to remind that Wiloughby street is slowly disappearing. As it begins to be consumed by it’s surrounding it makes me wonder is it really such a good thing? Will I, just like Whitehead not be able to say goodbye to my New York?

On the other side of the spectrum in the Fulton Mall is much more varied with people of all walks of life, age and cultures. Unlike Willoughby street Fulton mall is full of name brand clothing such as gap, banana republic, Aeropostale and Express. The way one feels upon entering Fulton mall is like entering a whole new world with such the drastic change in scenery. As far as noise goes it varies a little bit more as buses are now thrown into the mix, and since Fulton mall is slightly more lively there is also many people shopping and talking as they walk through the streets. When I look at the Fulton Mall I can’t help but wonder what this place looked like before and whose New York did it used to belong to? Such as how Colson remark on how the Pan Am building and how others who refer to it as the Met Life building are wrong ” I still call it the Pan Am building…that titan squatting over grand central is the Met life building….She is wrong of course”. The way this juxtaposes with Willoughby is really evident not only in the way it looks but how it integrates with the surroundings, Fulton Mall makes Willoughby’s scenery stick out like a sore thumb. Everything from the condition of the street to the people that walk through it shows the difference in people and the way they go about their day.

The New York one has varies from person to person and can be good or bad depending on that person’s experience there. By looking at two locations that juxtapose one another one is able to see how people live and to some point can even tell what their New York is. With their being so many people, there is so many New Yorks all with different experiences and locale how one decides to look at it all varies.

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