Everyone has an opinion and therefore everyone sees the world in a different way. Everyone has their own New York and will vary from person to person, for someit may be the towering buildings of Manhattan or the beautiful walls of what used to be the 5 Pointz building, whatever it may be they all have 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, Whitehead explains that the moment you start to remember fondly about an old establishment in New York. By Whitehead saying this he implies that everyone’s New York is constantly overlapping one another and that no “New York” is the real “New York”. By walking around the Jay Street area we are able to slowly discover our New York and at the same time discover a little about the many neighborhoods that juxtapose one another and the variety that it creates.

When beginning my journey I had an easy time finding things that juxtapose one another but my main issue was finding 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 locations that make up my New York and will continue to do so as I spend time with them here in City Tech. 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 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, the name of this place is Willoughby street. Change is always constantly happening and 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.” Willoughby Street looks rather old compared to the scenery around it, everyone here was mostly casually dressed and seemed to be of a somewhat normal income with the occasional professional who is by making their way to work. 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, at least where I walked through. 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 franchises that are otherwise not found in Willoughby street. 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  buses are now thrown into the mix and are constantly making noises as they pick up passengers, not to mention the many people shopping and chatting as they walk. 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 Whitehead remarked 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” which is contradictory to what Whitehead implied about no New York being the real one. The way this juxtaposes with Willoughby is really evident not only in the way it looks but how it feel as you walk through what seems to be this new world, Willoughby feels old and in a sense a step back in time while the Fulton Mall seems more progressive in the way it looks, yet this experience could be the complete opposite of what someone else feels.

The surroundings we live in change constantly change and shape our ideals, the same applies to our own New York. By being able to see the juxtaposition in every neighborhood one can see the difference in lifestyles for each person, someone in a suit in the Jay Street Metro-tech area could be an intern or a student off to college level classes while those in the Fulton Mall area could be anyone that is simply looking to shop. Many things affect the way a person see something from the experiences they have to what they deal with on a daily basis. Everyone has their own New York and no one New York is truly correct, the only thing everyone can all agree on is that their New York belongs to them.

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