Monthly Archives: February 2014

Blog # 1: My NY

For a majority of my life living here, I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I know about New York, yet I don’t “know” New York. As a child I was born in Brooklyn. I lived in a quiet suburban area and once in a while I would go with my family to visit Manhattan. I did not think much about the city then when I was a child. As a child, Manhattan just seemed like a mess of tall buildings to me. I did not think too much of it at the time. At around ten years old my family moved to Staten Island, where visiting the city became less of a simple trip and more of a chore. For the latter part of my teenage years, I rarely had time to go out to the city. It wasn’t until after I graduated High School that I got my chance to revisit my old vision of Manhattan.

The New York of today can only be described as fast and furious, particularly the city of Manhattan. Manhattan is often seen as the main “face” of New York, as most tourists refer to Manhattan whenever anyone discusses the Big Apple. Compared to Manhattan, the other 4 boroughs of New York are much tamer and peaceful. The unique essence of Manhattan is often recognized for its fast paced and chaotic nature. The people of Manhattan have a distinctive sense of spirit, which can often be mistaken for aggression or impatience. Since the construction of higher buildings and successful businesses, Manhattan has become a very busy city.

However, despite me not being up to date with the current mentality of Manhattan, I do enjoy this side of New York compared to the much slower and peaceful boroughs. The energetic nature of Manhattan can be viewed as a learning curve before being able to appreciate it for what it is: A chaotic yet engaging form.

My view on New York

When you hear “New York” you think, bright lights, crowds, Broadway, the city that never sleeps. Tourist from all across the world visit New York imagining it to be a lifetime experience. Wall Street, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, all amazing themes that tie up New York City.

Born and raised in two of five boroughs in New York, I can say Ive seen it all. Ive lived in the big apple for all of my child hood. Born in Brooklyn, later moved to Staten Island. I have experienced good, bad, and even not expressible experiences all around me. The twin towers accident, the NYE ball drop, government shut downs, Hurricane Sandy, and many more. Over the years I have realized New York is not what everyone makes it seem. Its not perfect, were far from it. We have problems, lots of them. I grew up in a fast pace city. People always rushing, yelling, pushing, attitudes were always very obvious.

Growing up around it you finally notice all the flaws. People are mean, and only care for themselves. People steal, argue and fight everywhere you go. The problem is were too caught up in everything we have, that we don’t realize what we have.


When I first arrived to NYC ,it was during my summer vacation, when I came to visit my family. The first place I went to Time Square. I was amazed by the skyscrapers, the lights, and the rhythm of the place along with the amount of people walking there at the middle of the night. Also, in Times Square there are many irregular building made out of glass, with a lot of lights coming from them. As I was visiting many well known landmarks such as, The Statue of Liberty, The Wall Street’s Bull ,and The Empire State Building, I couldn’t believe how many cultures there are in one place. As I went to museums, I learned about the history of the city, its customs, and way of life. Also at the museums I learned about the way that New York is so much different from other virtual countries/states/cities.

In addition , the combination of green parks, lakes, and carriage horses, by the side of huge buildings seem to me so special, that I didn’t want to go back home and imagined myself living the NYC life.

Today after living in New York for 4 years and exploring the city from different aspects and points of view, the city seems to me too dirty and loud, and the air is not clean. After visiting upstate, and enjoying the fresh air, the green environment and calm atmosphere, going back to the city changed my whole experience and my opinion on the life style of the and loud city.

However , although I usually stay away from the city , I enjoy being part of the beauty and cultural diversity in the city. I find that those aspects are the ones that make New York City known for and so special.

My New York

My first visit to New York was a little over 3 years ago, it was November and I took a bus from Baltimore (where I was visiting my brother). It was evening, and I remember being so excited when we were crawling toward New Jersey, because from a distance I thought that it was New York City, and as we got nearer being so disappointed. We sat in traffic for at least an hour more before getting to the Holland Tunnel and approaching NYC from dark side streets. The bus let us out near Madison Square Garden, and meeting me there with a coffee was James. He was the guy I came to see, an old crush/friend from back home in California who moved to NYC five years before. So despite the cold, I had a very pleasant first experience here because we were in love. We went to the High Line, rode the Staten Island Ferry, went to the Met, went ice skating in Central park etc. When I moved here that summer it was Memorial day weekend and it was early morning, and raining. I remember the couple sitting next to me played ‘Empire State of Mind’ on their phone, and I was just so elated to be here, starting a new chapter of my life. I remember that I thought I needed a jacket, I assumed that the rain would be cold like back home in the Bay Area but it was already around 75 degrees that morning. When we went back to his studio in the financial district, to live, the reality of New York hit me. The constant grey haze, the garbage stacked high, the rats and roaches, the dirtiness, the aggressiveness, the general disregard of rules, the bad drivers, the lack of recycling, the bad produce, the crowds, the apparent sense of superiority New Yorker’s seemed to have, etc. But after time I got used to it, and the scary thing is that I’m acclimating to it here. When I go back to California it can seem too slow, the homeless gross me out, public transportation seems lacking, people seem too wishy washy and too politically correct… but it’s beautiful there, and relaxing and I need to leave the city every so often to keep my sanity. We live in Brooklyn now, Park Slope, and it’s nice to be so near Prospect Park; we take our dog there on weekend mornings. We are also near the central library, farmer’s markets, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the Brooklyn Museum, Union Hall, or if it’s too far to walk can just hop on a train or ride our bikes when it’s warmer. I have to remind myself every so often that I am very lucky to be here and that there is so much to do, and to take advantage of it all because we probably won’t stay and it would be a shame to only focus on the negative.

New York: City of Dreams

Born here, raised elsewhere, I know so little about New York until me came back for junior high school. New York City is known for city never sleeps, a place where all dreams come true.


Living here for over ten year, I have been moving place to place, my first impression to New York City was poor rated. My uncle picked me up from JFK and our first trip was to stop by Chinatown for welcome dinner, I fall sleep on the way there due to jet lag. I couldn’t believe it was part of Manhattan, I wanted to go back to Shanghai.


Elmhurst, Queens. Where I first residence with my family, Near 74st Train Station. I was excited to jump on subway of NYC to experience it. I was disappointed again, it was not as cool as it seem from the movie. (Before renovation) my mother worked hard in helping expending family business in Brooklyn, so my first visit to Brooklyn is where all the warehouse was located. We moved to Bayside about two year later. It was a very quiet and beautiful neighborhood, with a possible commute distance to New York City. This was the turning point when I fall in love with this city. I started to view two city in comparison. If shanghai is a young teen age girl. Then New York is the wised lady, both attractive yet one with amazing history retained from times. Shanghai will not have as many little quiet villages as New York City.


We moved further away from city as my mother wanted me to be isolated from night life this amazing city have to offer. I learn to explore public transportation system of New York. Took LIRR from Great Neck directly to Penn Station every weekend. I enjoy interact with peoples. We were all different in cultures and backgrounds. We all share the same love to this amazing city.  I would go Chinatown and little Italy for food, soho and 5th avenue for shopping. Enjoy a relaxed weekend in central park. Public lectures in uptown. What I love the most about New York is the Public Library System; from queens to long island, no matter where I moved to, library is always around for the community.


Studying Architecture allow me to understand New York’s history better, appreciate more. Yet, do I really know about New York. New York have more then what we imaging to offer, I would devote myself to pursue my dreams here and be a proud New Yorker.