November 20 2003, a little over ten years ago, a terrified little girl stepped foot in New York City for the first time. Going from JFK to Jamaica Queens all she could think of was how clean this new city is, little did she know how drastically that idea would change.
A person who has never stepped outside of the third world country that is Bangladesh, New York City to me was nothing less than a strange concrete jungle with even stranger vicious wild animals. I was never exposed to much of the city other than queens for the first three years of my life here. When I started high school I found myself suddenly thrown into the subway and forced to navigate every single day to midtown by myself. That was my first real encounter with my now beloved city.
My initial impression of this sparkly clean city changed when I encountered rats in the subway, dirty pigeons that attacked me on the streets, and the homeless man that took up a whole train car because of his body odor. Four years of high school in midtown put me in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the New York life and soon I became part of the herd. I felt, and still feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have gotten the chance to experience the real New York life and to have felt accepted in this crazy concrete jungle.
My New York is walking around Union Square and bumping into an old friend, My New York is taking the seven train from Grand Central Station at night and eagerly waiting for that cinematic turn and getting hit in the face with the full unobstructed spectacular view of Manhattan’s skyline. My New York is going to Williamsburg every Sunday and having brunch after yoga at my regular hole-in-the-wall restaurant, it’s going to Central Park just to see the cherry blossoms every spring. My New York is a never ending love story.