Category Archives: Reflection

The real idea of observing

Just as in the excerpt we just read, I travel back and forth from Staten Island through Manhattan to Brooklyn for school and work daily. I like to take in my daily occurrences and observing my surroundings while on the ferry and the plenty of trains I’m required to take. I like to observe the other riders on the ferry early in the morning of rush hour. From that you get to know everyone around you. Once in a while ill tend to look out the windows and just watch the water move from the boat because after a long day that becomes calming and just nice to watch when there aren’t tourists around there. When I’m not traveling for work or school and I’m going to the city for leisure I tend to look to see all the skyscrapers all over and admire the beauty of the city because that’s why I love living in the great city. I believe my observations are very different to the author because he actually went through all the boroughs and took everything in even the small things. Though I do have similar ways because of my almost four hours of traveling back and forth I tend to observe more of my surroundings then I would if I had a shorter commute. The power of serendipity to expose our commonalities is true being the bliss and realness of our life occurrences and observations living in the city bring that out more.


What city walking experiences do you have in common with the writer? What in your experience is different from what he wrote about? What do you think of the power of serendipity to “expose our commonalities,” as he puts it?

I live in Brooklyn surrounding by low-rise buildings and residential houses which is a quite diverse place. Brooklyn’s population is made up of different immigrants. It means there are so many different living style within 500 square miles. I can buy Mexican food for breakfast closed by the train station when I go to school. I can do exercise in the gym room few blocks away from my house. Lots of trees standing along two sidewalks that allow me to watch the falling leaves during the Fall and appreciate them growing back in the Spring. Same neighbors pass by every day become a scenery line of my life. Brooklyn is a beautiful place to explore without overcrowded traffic.
I saw the common scene in the street with Garnette Cadogan in Due North when I walked to the park three blocks away from my house. There is a restaurant with small bar and plant a lot of pretty flowers around the wall outside the door. The owner put some tables and chairs outside to allow people to hangout. There are a lot of people gather together to watch World Cup in the restaurant and holding bears in their hands. A loud cheer came up when their favorite team won. Even though I was not a part of them, I still felt happy when I heart they laugh. They don’t know each other at the first begin, but they can share their stories and the opinions about the politics. I think this is a city’s energy and gift.
The power of serendipity to “expose our commonalities” should be a positive attitude that we have toward to the life. We embrace the happiness and sadness in our life, and our happiness can be conveyed and sadness can be reduced with sharing to other people.

Blog Post 2

What city walking experiences do you have in common with the writer? What in your experience is different from what he wrote about? What do you think of the power of serendipity to “expose our commonalities,” as he puts it?

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is the old industrial shipyard area that only one street away from where I live. I had been live in this neighborhood for almost eight years, and this area has changed a lot through years. When the first year that I lived here and walked down on the street, I were barely seeing people walking on the street since the area wasn’t well develop yet. Wasted buildings and factories were all along the street, and most common scene was just trucks and cars that went in and out of the factories.

Nowadays, Brooklyn Navy Yard had been reusing old buildings and factories to develop commercial area, as well as the DUMBO has been prosperity that brings a lot more people to this area. So as I have an walking experience on the street, I could feel the positive atmosphere that is in common with Cadogan: some people are jogging, some people are walking with their dogs, tourists are visiting the new look of this area. And sometimes it will hold food fair in the park that invite and gather people from the neighborhoods and visitors. The different between Cadogan and my experience is he interacted with people during his walking experience, and I didn’t have that kind of experience except visitors asking about the ways.

When Cadogan wrote the power of “serendipity to expose our commonalities”, I think as human being, we all share the similar wishes, goals and life that we want, but most people were just lack of interact with other people and didn’t have the similar experience as other people did. And we will realize we all alike once we have the experience and interact with others.

Blog Post 02: “Due North” Reflection

What city walking experiences do you have in common with the writer? What in your experience is different from what he wrote about? What do you think of the power of serendipity to “expose our commonalities,” as he puts it?

    One city walking experience I have in common with the author Cadogan of the article “Due North” is when I travel between boroughs. Since I currently live in Staten Island, but I usually commute the express bus to Manhattan and then I take the train to Brooklyn to get to City Tech. Staten island is a pretty sleepy place compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn. I enjoy living in a peaceful environment where you can generally find parking and don’t have to move car each day. Manhattan and Brooklyn is the place to find essential beauty of the architecture and culture. The only downsides are the overcrowded mass of people walking from one place to another and the transportation traffic. I don’t think my experience is different from what the author wrote. Cadogan observed different joys of different boroughs like me too. Overall these three boroughs might be different environments but as what Cadogan said, “serendipity to expose our commonalities”, people might share similar passion to their work and frustrations just in a different way.


Post #2 Cadogan Response

Like Garnette I’ve travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan I’ve walked in 34th street herald square early in the morning around 6:30 am. It was very peaceful and quiet. You could of seen the beautiful architecture and actually admire it. Everyone was doing their own thing. There was lots of lighting, lots of people walking to their jobs at the time. No one wanted to interact at the time. They are quickly walking their own way not wanting to be bothered. Without focusing on their surroundings. I don’t think there’s much difference in what Garnette wrote. Different borrows brings out different people. Either way If you have an actual conversation with a stranger you can see, we aren’t much different. No matter what borrow you live in. It’s just the borrow that’s different the people might still act the same. he says “But serendipity also exposes our commonalities, showing how much our joys and frustrations and anxieties are similar. I do agree with him in that serendipity exposes our commonalities because the of how it effects the community. Meaning we all have different points of views and experiences that are different, but we also have lots of similarities as in the way we handle those experiences. Some share joy will be being in herald square, others share frustration.

Blog #2

Like Cadogan, I mostly travel between two boroughs, Queens and Manhattan. I like to travel and explore Manhattan leisurely. I love the city nightlife atmosphere, especially during the cold season and holidays. During walking long distances through the avenues, you notice all the other people doing the same thing as you, taking in the sights and exploring different shops with friends and family. When it comes to running errands, they’re mostly done in different parts of Queens, I would usually accompany my folks and we go to places like Astoria and Jackson Heights. Unlike Cadogan where he discovered the different enjoyments of both boroughs, I’m particularly not fond of Jackson Heights (37th avenue, 73rd and 74th street). It is heavily congested, the narrow streets are jam packed with people and pretty unsanitary. They are primarily occupied by Indians and Bengalis (I am also Bengali), most of them are rude and are not aware of their surroundings. The two streets are all about business and attracting customers, they are filled with Indian restaurants, giant grocery stores, Indian clothing stores, and Indian Jewelry stores. Pretty much everything the modern Indian/Bengali person needs, that’s why so many people flock to this area, especially my parents. I do believe it’s true that serendipity exposes our commonalities, In my case, there are many people that share the joys of exploring Manhattan, and many people that share the frustrations of traveling to Jackson Heights.

Hassan’s Blog #2 Due North

When I got my first internship with the MTA in summer 2018, I got myself reassigned to the Civil Engineering department because I did not like working in a Manhattan office cubical and filing MetroCard complaints. One of the assignments of the Civil Engineers was to inspect ongoing subway station repairs. This meant I got to travel around New York City.

The way this relates to Cadogan’s walking experiences is that I did experience some of the things he mentioned. When Hakim, the Civil Engineer in charge of the inspections, brought me and another intern to the 145th street station in Harlem, I heard music playing loudly from the apartments and saw how most people living there were dark-skinned. I also saw the wealthy Upper East Side and how the residents were rarely seen hanging outside.

Our walking experiences are not entirely the same, of course. When I walk in a different neighborhood, I do not talk to people there because I do not have any interest in doing so. Also, a part of my perspective on the neighborhood is influenced by what I see online. For instance, when I wanted to go to Apple’s 5th Avenue store after work, I looked up directions on Google Maps and recognized the high-end clothing brands nearby. I knew the streets would probably be filled because of that and the fact that Central Park is 5 minutes away.

I think it is a well-thought-out idea to describe the differences between the South Bronx and the Upper East Side. I can certainly see how people in the Upper East Side have wealth, but don’t or can’t spend their leisure time with their neighbors. As for the South Bronx, it may not be an attractive neighborhood in terms of cleanliness, but it is rich in the way that the community gets together to have fun.

Post 2: Garnette Cadogan’s Due North Reflection

What city walking experiences do you have in common with the writer? What in your experience is different from what he wrote about? What do you think of the power of serendipity to “expose our commonalities,” as he puts it?


Recently, I visited the Murray Hill area  and walked around Tudor City and Kips Bay. Arriving at 42nd Street – Grand Central Terminal was exciting and electric, even though it was a Sunday morning. Walking through Tudor City was peaceful and calm. There wasn’t the energetic and vibrant energy that Cadogan found in the Bronx, but there wasn’t a sense of exclusion from the residents as he described when he visited the Upper East Side. Like Cadogan, I met a local resident walking his dog on the East River Esplanade. He started talking to me about the history of the area and his experiences in Murray Hill area. He also suggested places I should visit in the area, and even walked me to the sculptor of SPOT (a 30-foot dalmatian dog balancing a taxi on his snout) on 34th Street.

I agree with Cadogan that the power of serendipity “exposes our commonalities”. By exploring the city and meeting individuals that we would have never met before, allows us realize that even though we all might live in a different zip code, we are all alike.