Urban Walking and Exploration In New York City

Anyone who knows me moderately well, knows that I am a creature of habit. I take the same train and corresponding route to school, work, or wherever I need to be. Then, the same way home at the end of practically everyday. I have had this routine for years and I find comfort in it. Though I take this rather repetitious journey everyday, I would never describe my daily interaction with New York City as “boring” as Jonn Elledge stated in his short urban-walking memoir. In a city as vast as New York, you can take the same route everyday and experience a new adventure; meeting new people, taking in new cultures, and learning new points of view.

Normally, if I’m on a bus or train, you would find my nose buried in a book, my eyes captivated in a literary induced reverie. But once the sun goes down and the impending night rolls in, my innate paranoia of safety and awareness for my commute home becomes the forefront thought on my mind. I am then forced to walk in the clearest moments of observation of my entire day. I notice the last of CityTech students exiting Namm hall from their night classes as they make a beeline for the A train entrance, tourists desperately trying to find the Brooklyn Bridge on Adams Street, the homeless man curled on a bench in Columbus Park, and the colorful LED lights that illuminate the 1850’s Brooklyn Borough Hall at the end of the park. The open space in front of the massive stairs of the hall makes for skateboarders’ delight if the weather permits.

I agree with how Elledge described the urban city as opposed to the rural or suburban parts of town. That it’s more of human nature to watch other humans rather than observe inanimate nature. Everything most likely stays the same in less populated areas, while the constant motion of a diverse city ultimately gives rather divergent outputs of everyday life. The same buildings, bridges, parks, or other structures can become monotonous, redundant, or “boring” (as Elledge stated), but it’s the population, the people of this city, that add such a satisfaction that can’t be duplicated. It’s the New Yorkers that breathe life into New York City.

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