Concrete Jungle

“These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York”

-Frank Sinatra

There is something about New York City that keeps me coming back. I am fortunate enough to go to New York City at least once a year since the time I was five. I grew up in Philadelphia so we were only a short train ride away to celebrate Christmas in The City. When I went to boarding school in Northeast Connecticut many of my friends lived in The City (that is what we call it, even before Whitney Port and MTV came along.) Last summer I was awarded the opportunity to work for CNN in their New York bureau. Not only was I able to work under the Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth, but I was also able to experience The City as a resident (in an NYU dorm, I’ll admit,) rather than as a tourist.

There is an energy about The City that is contagious! There is always something new to see or do but if you ever get to go (and then subsequently come back,) you’ll always be able to find your old stomping grounds (i.e. Macy’s still has wooden escalators!) The people are alive in New York. They know how to work hard and play harder. There is a great quote by an unknown author that says “life is too short to be anything but happy.” I wouldn’t necessarily call New Yorkers happy but they definitely know that life is too short not to enjoy it. New York allows us to dream and to make dreams come true.

“New York… Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do, Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you, Let’s hear it for New York”

By Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

I’ve seen New York in a different light. I was able to explore new neighborhoods (including my own, Greenwich Village, for the summer) and lay out in Washington Square Park on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Not only did I experience amazing neighborhoods and see beautiful old buildings (and mega-fashion stores) but I also learned about the people I interacted with on an every day basis. I became friends with a stylist from Michigan (who would have thought stylist and Michigan could go in the same sentence) and a designer from Alabama. I reconnected with old sorority sisters and friends from the past. I became friends with a pizza-maker (at my favorite pizza shop, Ben’s Pizzeria). Everyone I encountered that summer is unique. They each have quirks (cough cough hiding liquor in the ice chest at Ben’s) and they each brought a smile to my face.

Without the experiences I shared with new-found and old friends I would not be the person I am today. They inspired me to be who I want to be, do what I want to do and not let anyone stop me from pursuing my dreams. I got to catch up with a few friends currently living in NYC last weekend on a quick trip up North. They are making their dreams a reality working as a photographer, a designer for RL, and working at a magazine. I am lucky to have so many people in The City that I care about that keep me coming back to a city I love to be with people I care about.

“After all, seasons change. so do cities. people come into your life and people go. but it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. and if you’re very lucky, only a plane ride away.”-Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Editor’s note: I’ve never liked the Yankees and I never will.

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