Day by day, New York seems to get more and more modernized. There is always new buildings and roads being constructed (or reconstructed) and there just seems to be more of an absence of parks, quiet spaces, or just somewhere away from the crowded/busy city streets, where people can take a break from a long day. However, for the few places that we have left in the city, we should at least appreciate and use them while we can because we don’t know how long they will be here for. And one place in particular around city tech that I recommend is Walt Whitman park.
To get to the park City Tech you can walk about 2 blocks (from the Tillary entrance) to get there or instead if you take the A/C train to get to city tech instead of getting off at Jay street you can stay on for 1 more stop and get off at High Street. And the park will be on your right hand side as you exit the station from the first exit. The reason why I chose this location as my juxtaposition is because it is a place that is normally very peaceful and quite. Yet, it is located right next to the busy and crowded streets of downtown Brooklyn which is also near the Brooklyn bridge. Typically speaking you would expect such a quiet place to be near such a busy area because it would kind of contradict the point of it being a “quiet space.” But sometimes small places like this help make the experience of the city one to enjoy as buildings and cars and roads may just seem to boring to be surrounded by every day.
With this juxtaposition you can see how there is more than what meets the eye. And by that I mean almost everyday we see the exact same things all the time. Rarely do we ever see something different or out of the ordinary. Reason being we go about our days following the same daily routine , going to the same places in the same chronological order and repeating the cycle the next day and so forth. But we never take the time to explore and open our eyes to new sights that might actually be closer than we think or hidden in plain sight and we just don’t know because we don’t allow ourselves too. In “The Way We Live Now: 11-11-01; Lost and Found” by Colson Whitehead he states how as New Yorkers “you start building your own New York the first time you lay eyes on it.” As he elaborated on in more detail in the text we can infer that we all have a different perception on New York based on what we do or how we navigate it. We are all confined by what we do daily and when there isn’t any change in the cycle nothing new becomes presented and that hinders the experience. Another point that he says is “ Never listen to what people tell you about old New York, because if you didn’t witness it, it is not apart of your New York and month as well be Jersey.” Simply meaning if there’s things you learn about NY that you haven’t experienced then it isn’t really of value in your NY lifestyle. And not only that but our perception of the city is limited by what we allow ourselves to see/ what we experience. Going back to Walt Whitman park you wouldn’t know such a place is there because we don’t take the time out of our routines to really take in our surroundings. The location of the park is also a great contrast from being next to city tech because being a college student sometimes your days can become very stressful with work loads and just a list of things you need to do. And sometimes we all just need a break to rest from all of that in our free time and just to be away from the college atmosphere/ campus. Which is why the fact that we have the park right next to such a busy area is a great thing. For the fact that it provides that break or that different thing people need in there days to make things less stressful or just to get away from the norm( reality).
The text “What if You Could Choose Between the Fastest Route and the Most Beautiful” by Lex Berko also brings up a really great point. It states “ Small interventions in your everyday routine can generate a more comprehensive urban experience… If you give yourself an extra 10 minutes for a small detour on your journey, it can transform your experience of the city into something altogether more enjoyable.” This is another reason why the juxtaposition I chose is a really great example of why we should appreciate the things around us. The fact that places like Walt Whitman park exists around the city can open us to maybe new hangout/ chill spots after a long day of work or a stressful day of classes. The city is a beautiful place from what we see normally, but we never really ask ourselves “ What if we took that path home or to school that always seem interesting” or “what if I went an extra stop, or walked an extra block or to or took the longer route to somewhere?” Questions like these can really make for a wonderful experience or a great way to get a break from the daily life we live and give a sort of refresher to the normal things we are exposed to.
1) Whitehead, Colson. “The Way We Live Now: 11-11-01; Lost and Found.” The New York Times, November 11, 2001. Web.
2) Berko, Lex. “What If You Could Choose Between the Fastest Route and the Most Beautiful?” CityLab. July 17, 2014. Web.