The First chapter of the novel The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead called “City Limits” is about the perception of how people see New York whether they aren’t from here either they moved here or just visiting and comparing them to how people would see New York if they are from here born and raised. He calls it being a true new Yorker. ” You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now.” Basically he says that you’re a true New Yorker when you start to notice change in the Neighborhoods and not when what’s there now is all you know about. When you go to these places and you feel nostalgic and you have those memories, that’s when you know you’re a true New Yorker. Whitehead also states that everyone that visits New York makes their own sense or their own interpretation of what New York was like or how it looks like as soon as they take their first step in New York.
The chapter “City Limits” in the novel, The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead, talks about how things are not what they seem. Whitehead talks about how city life is very fast paced always updating in terms of indistrilization. This advancement in industrilization ultimately causes there to be many versions of the same place because everyone has their own photographic memory of what was there prior to that. Old timers may roam around New York city viewing everything as nostalga. From the day a person starts exploring the concrete jungle, their own private map begins to develop. I can relate to this for example, my high school got rid of its old building sophomore year and built a more up to date, modern school. Every day after school i would walk past where the old building was located and can visually see everything how it used to be. Across the street in front of the Pita Grill on 57th street, there would be a flood of teenagers of all kinds but now everything is so gone and forgotten. Although things have changed i can still look at these places and picture what was there during MY time. That is why there are no city limits because cities are the number one places that continue to evolve in comparrison to a rural lifestyle where things usually remain the same over generations. That is why Whitehead describes New York as a city containing 8million cities because everyone’s template of what New York looks like or what its made of is different in everyone’s perspective. Another thing is when Whitehead mentions how someone is not a New Yorker unless what was there before is more solid and real than what is there now is very true. If what was there before is more vivid to what is there now means you have watched that part of New York City grow, evolve and develop into something greater. Seeing what was there before gives you a better understanding of the city’s roots and culture. Being able to reminise and imagine the past is being able to look back into history and time, do not take that power for granted for what’s gone can always remain if you learn to appreciate whats there now.
In “The Colossus Of New York” by Colson Whitehead, “City limits” is the first chapter in which he talks about his life and memories living in New York City. In the very first paragraph he talks about how one might have ended up living in New York. Then he goes on talking about the landmarks in New York and how you might have encountered them on your stroll in New York. Then he starts talking about his life and his experiences such as the first time he looked out of a subway window as the train came out of a tunnel on its way to 125th Street. He also says that’s not every one New York is the same because of the different neighborhoods we all live in. Because of this we all see different part of New York which we call home. New York is always expanding thus making New York a place you can explore and explore. New York is always changing even if you notice it or not. He talk about for some people when something changes and goes away visually that doesn’t mean it is actually gone. It is there still in the memories of that person. So basically Whitehead wrote about how he sees New York, and what he experienced as he walked on the streets of New York.
“City limits” is the first chapter of the book “The Colossus Of New York” by Colson Whitehead. Throughout the chapter, Colson used first person point of views to show how New York City were. Colson make the chapter as he talking to readers, He lives in New York city because he born here. He compare the old New York and now, also mention how people’s live were. From Colson’s view of New York city, he sees many thing differently than what I see. What he thought is never listen to what people tell you about the old New York, because it will change your point of view, and make it not part of your New York. This made me want to see what Colson really see about New York.
“City Limits” is the first chapter of the novel “The Colossus of New York” by Colson Whitehead. In the beginning of the novel, the author uses second person point of view to state the reasons people may come to this city. He states that “Or maybe you moved here a couple years ago for a job. Maybe you came here for school. Maybe you saw a brochure.” When people come to this city, they start building their private city.The author also states that “the New York city you live in is not my New York city”. In first person point of view, the author starts building his New York city on the uptwon NO.1 train. His first memory is of looking out a subway window on the way to 125th Street in the early seventies. He remembers that the city is filthy. And he calls it Pan Am Building. It’s been a long time, but he still remember the details. Proving what he says in the third paragraph “You start building your private New York the first time you lay eyes on it.” According to the author, the reasons that make our private cities different are neighborhoods, our favorite newsstands, restaurants, movie theaters, subway stations, etc. For going those places, different people are different. And that is how our cities are private and unique.
: something that makes it difficult to do or complete something : something that interferes with movement or progress
I found this word while reading the tenth paragraph on page 9 in “City Limits”. I found it in the sentence, “It saw you steeling yourself for the job interview, slowly walking home after the late date, tripping over nonexistent impediments on the sidewalk.” When I seen the word in the sentence, I remember hearing that word before but never knew what it exactly meant. From this word in the sentence, I’m guessing the author is trying to say is that something is interfering with the person’s movement.
“City Limits” is the first chapter of the novel The Colossus of New York by Colson Whitehead. The author goes back and forth with first and second person throughout this whole chapter. From Colson Whitehead’s point of view, he talks about his life and memories living in New York City. One of his first memories was on the uptown No. 1 train looking out the window on the way to 125th Street. He also mentions that it is the early seventies, so that must have been the year he had his first memory. Whitehead also remembers that everything was filthy, but because that is how his city is, he is sticking with it. From the second person point of view, Whitehead uses it in the first paragraph guessing why the reader is living in New York. In the sixth paragraph, Whitehead mentions how the New York we live in is different and not the New York he lived in. The New York that we are living in is changing and nothing is really the same anymore. He also mentions that the city knows you better as a person than anyone else. The city remembers and sees all of what you’ve done. For Colson Whitehead, no matter if you were born here or living here, you’ll also be a New Yorker. The feelings of the city won’t become unfamiliar to you and you will be attached to it as you’re staying there.
“City Limits” is the first chapter in Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Colossus of New York”. Throughout the chapter, the author uses point of views such as first and second person to show the different perspectives of city life in New York. From a first person point of view, the author gives the experiences he encountered while being in New York. His “New York” started when he was looking out the window of the No.1 train as the train elevated from the underground tunnel to the tracks above 125th street. From a second person point of view, Whitehead gives many scenarios to a person’s life in New York City. With examples such as “Maybe you came here for school”,”Maybe you saw the brochure”, “Or maybe you moved here a couple years ago for a job”. Through each individual’s recollection of memories and experiences it’s their “New York”. Although we all live in the same city, Whitehead implies that ” The New York City you live in is not my New York City: how could it be?”. New York City is always changing with adding new accommodations to replace the old ones which someone may have experienced. Whitehead mentions that ” The disappeared pizza parlor is still here because you are here, and when the beauty parlor replaces the travel agency, the gentleman will still have his vacation. And that lady will have her manicure”. That individual’s New York has been changed but they still have the memory of that old piece of New York they lived through. While that person’s New York experienced may have been changed it might be a new experience for someone else. Whitehead’s idea of a New Yorker is someone who has an attachment to the memory they had while being in the city. New Yorkers unite by their unique experiences whether that other person may or may not have experienced it themselves.
- : foolish or untrue words or ideas.
- : writing, music, etc., that is too dramatic or sentimental and not very original.
I’ve come across this word in the reading excerpt “City Limits”. This word can be found in the sentence “That Canal Street used to be a canal. That Bryant Park used to be a reservoir. It’s all hokum”. The following sentence says “I’ve been to Canal Street before and the only time I ever saw a river flow through it was during the last water-main explosion”. In this context the word hokum means untrue words or ideas. From learning what hokum means, I understand that statements about Canal Street and Bryant Park are untrue. The author, Colson Whitehead, mentioned before that “History books and public television documentaries are always trying to tell you all sorts of “facts” about New York”. Whitehead mentions later on in the text “Never listen to what people tell you about old New York, because if you didn’t witness it, it is not a part of your New York and might as well be Jersey”.
According to the Barnes & Noble overview, “Colson Whitehead is a award-winning novelist who re-creates the exuberance, the chaos, the promise, and the heartbreak of New York.” “City Limits” is the first chapter from the novel, “The Colossus of New York”. The author grabs the readers attention to the novel, where he uses the first and second person. The author makes the reader feel as if you are in New York where he was born. Though out the chapter, Colson explains in detail how he live in New York, from his first city moment when he used the No. 1 uptown train. The city of New York made him who he is now, supported his life and career. Because of this experience, he now sees New York more than ever. As if he sees something different than our view about this city. Which it intrigues me in a way that I want to see what he sees about this city.