I enjoyed this project because it involved walking out to a new place. It was really interesting to learn about juxtapositions. I really got to know areas near the school more. I thought finding overlapping New Yorks would be hard, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought. What I could improve more on the project is how I describe what I see by sight or any senses. I also need to improve on my quotes and showing how they support my essay’s thesis more, I might not have elaborated on them much in my essay.
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
Everyone was their own New York. Each persons New York is different and unique. By taking a walk in New York you’re bypassing someone’s New York. One persons New York might be the busy city with all of the crowds and skyscrapers. 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 right next to each other. No one is wrong in what their New York is, everyone has their own unique view of it.
In the first New York that I saw on Court Street it’s a lot more of a tourist place. There was also government buildings there which added more security to that side of Court Street. Those buildings seem to have been there for several years. I wouldn’t say they went under construction any time recently. The area consisted of a lot more professionally dressed people. There also was not a lot of shops on that side of Court Street. Probably replacing that was Columbus Park. The area was overall more calm and not very crowded.
On the other side of the juxtaposition, I like to call it the commercial Court Street. It was an area that resembles more of the city life. It was definitely more crowded than the other side. The area from a far view and also just walking through it reminds me of Times Square. There were lots of lights that I could see from a distance. The commercial side had much more stores for shopping and food. The area did have a lot more of a food smell within it. There weren’t many trees in this area either. There was also construction there, so I could tell some of the buildings aren’t nearly as old as the government buildings I saw. This also goes with the fact that everyone has their own New York and no ones is wrong. People become New Yorkers and move to different places in New York at different times. Things are constantly changing in New York. You never know when a building that you’ve walked by for years is going to be taken down. Just as Whitehead says in City Limits “I never got a chance to say goodbye to some of my old buildings”. They can disappear any day. There were also a lot more people rushing to places unlike the other side of Court Street, where it was more calm. The area was way louder as well. People also happened to be more casually dressed than professionally dressed.
Although the two New Yorks were very different to one another, they did have a couple of similarities too. In both areas I noticed that that there were not many kids in the area, a lot of adults. This might have been due to me visiting on a weekday though. The buildings in both areas also had similar heights. Looking at these two juxtapositions I can clearly see that it could be two different New Yorks for two or more individuals. They have a lot more differences than similarity, which shows that everyone does have their own New York and they’re all unique. Not all by what you see, but also of your memories in the area, Although some areas may not change much, for example on the side of Court Street with the government buildings. It seems like those buildings have been there for a long time, and probably won’t be going away anytime soon. But even saying that, as Whitehead says again “We can never make proper goodbyes”. Once again we never know when a building is going to vanish. Things are constantly changing in New York. If someone moves to your area just as a new building is being built, their New York isn’t wrong in any way, it’s just more unique to that person.
Overall my juxtaposition of two New Yorks has clearly shown me how several people can have their own New Yorks. Especially seeing the two side by side in person. New York is a large area with constant change happening. Some people just moving in and some moving to another state. All of those people have their own New York in their mind. Just because someone’s may be a newer perspective than another persons doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
My location was about a 15 minute walk from city tech. Once you exit from the main building on Jay Street take a left, then I walked along Adam Street and crossed around the food store Shake Shack and walked into Cadman Plaza Park. I eventually ended up at Court street, although I did make a circle and took the longer way there. On Court street is where I saw a juxtaposition of two New Yorks. On one side there was the NY Supreme Court area and if you walk further down there’s several stores which kind of reminds me of walking in Manhattan. I can also see how the area down the block with all of the stores could have been many different New York’s for some people. Those stores must have changed a lot of times.
In the reading of Colson Whitehead’s “City Limits” we learn a lot about our own view of New York. We’re all New Yorkers when we see a building or area of New York and we can remember what has been there before. Everyone has their New York. In the second paragraph he talks about that and how everyone starts to build their own New York once they make memories from what they see or remember. He also goes on about telling us not to believe what we hear or read on TV, newspapers, etc that’s about New York’s history. He says it doesn’t matter in what our New York is. While reading this you might even feel really nostalgic over some of the things that it makes you think. We may have seen a store change to several different things over the years. He also explains that we never really get to say goodbye to those places that we go to because we never know when it’s the last time we will be there.
Towards the last few paragraphs he talks more about as being a New Yorker, we can remember the past and see changes. But he also explains that no matter what New York will constantly be changing, with or without us. We can eventually see an entirely new city compared to what’s been there in the past. However, that will always be our New York.