Project #2: Final

Everyone has their own New York. Each persons New York is different with their perspective and memories. By taking a walk in New York you’re bypassing someones New York. One persons New York might be the busy city with all of the crowds. Another persons might be a more calm area. Each New Yorker has their own perspective of New York. I took a walk to Court Street and discovered a juxtaposition of two different New Yorks. Everyone has their own New York which is different.

The first New York I saw on Court Street was right where the government buildings are, one of them was for the Supreme Court. The area was right by Colombus Park where the fountain is placed. What I noticed that was unique to this New York was that it had a lot of security, being that there are government buildings there. There were also many professionally dressed people. Those people most likely being lawyers or anyone who works in those government buildings. The New York I was viewing was most likely a part of their New York. The area seemed to have little to no construction going on. The buildings there, at the glance that I remember, seemed to be there for several years. I wouldn’t think that they’ve been under construction anytime recently. But you never know when an building is going to go away and change. You never know when your New York will no longer be the same for anyone new to the area. Even if a building seems to be permanent in its area, that can always change. As Colson Whitehead explains in his piece of City Limits, we never know when we’re going to be seeing a building for the last time. A place can go out of business or under construction without us having a clue that it was going to happen. Whatever it turns into is also someone elses own unique New York. For the time and day that I went the area was also not crowded. There were people taking pictures and just sitting on the steps in front of one of the buildings. I assume seeing that happening is a daily thing for those whose New York this is. This all describes the New York of one or more people, but everyone is different. Not everyone has the same New York.

The other New York that I saw was when I walked a little more down from my last location near the government buildings. Court Street splits farther down on one side and it goes into Joralemon Street on the other side. I walked further down Court Street where the Borough Hall station is. I immediately thought that this area resembles more of a busy city rather than what I just saw. The area specifically reminded me of Manhattan, with all of the stores and buildings to shop at. There was also a building that had a screen on it playing a video which really reminded me of Manhattan. This area would be more of the commercial side. This New York would probably belong to someone who walks through it everyday or lives near by, and has gotten to know the overall area. I walked down Court Street smelling food, which was different from the other area with the government buildings. This area of Court Street had more construction. That also caused this area to be much louder with jack hammers and various other construction sounds. I could tell and see that there were many buildings being rebuilt and some stores changing. That made me think that this is more than one New York here for people. Some people might remember all of the stores that used to be in the area, maybe the StarBucks right by the subway station used to be a completely different building or store. In one persons New York there’s a StarBucks there, in another persons there was another store there before. Both those people have their own different New York because New York is constantly changing. Once again in Colson Whitehead’s City Limits, he talks about still calling the Met Life building the Pan Am Building because that’s what it was when he got to New York. To someone else who’s newer, it’s the Met Life building. That’s also two different New Yorks and shows that New York has constant change going on. But it’s also not always changing in every area, like the government side that I saw. Change in New York is a cause of many people having their own New York. Everyone being at a different spot in New York at a different time causes us to have different memories and sites.

Although those two New Yorks have many differences, they also have a couple of similarities. Much less than the differences being that every persons New York is different, not completely the same. One similarity between the two would be the obvious fact that they’re both in Downtown Brooklyn. Even being in the same area, they still make up different New Yorks. Although the buildings are newer on the commercial side rather than the government side, on both sides I noticed that the buildings have similar heights. There honestly were not many similarities, and I’m not surprised by that. Being that I recognized the two areas of Court Street as different New Yorks, they’re bound to be more different. Also going back to saying that everyone has their own New York, of course the two areas wouldn’t be very similar to each other.

Each person lives in a different part of New York. Each of us has our own unique New York, whether it be from out memories making up what it is, or the area in general being unique. New York constantly has new people moving in and out and buildings coming and going. This all contributes to the unique New York of each person. I was able to see two different New Yorks on my walk in Court Street. One may be for lawyers working in government buildings, the other may be for people who possibly live around the area, go to school there, or work nearby. Even though those are two different New Yorks, everyone has their own memories that make it unique to them. Everyone has their own New York.


Works Cited: Whitehead, Colson. “City Limits.” The Colossus of New York


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