New York, New York

March 9, 2009
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Although I'd love to be, I am not much of a traveler. Aside from an occasional meal at the Chinese restaurant in the mall, I have not experienced much of other cultures. Besides New York, which is where I live, the only states I have been to are Florida and Pennsylvania. Oh, and I have passed through New Jersey on the way to New York City if that counts for something.

Speaking of the city, I have been there two times. Who knew the biggest culture shock could be located right in the state you live in? My eyes were wide with excitement and anxiety as I set foot in the city for the first time. In the first two minutes in New York City, I encountered all kinds of people; businessmen on their blackberries, other tourists with crinkled maps and confused faced, and fashionistas walking as if they were on the red carpet. I walked a couple blocks, looking up at the tall buildings, map in hand. It was obvious I was a tourist.

After some worthwhile window shopping at fancy boutiques and expensive designer shops, I walked into a trendy caf', filled with freezing and hungry locals. It was clear I stumbled upon one of the best kept secrets of the city. I stared at the menu filled with deli favorites, wraps, soups and lattes of all kinds. I finally got in line to order a bowl of chicken soup and a chicken wrap. The young man who took my order greeted me with a smile and a 'Good afternoon,' in, what I'm guessing, was a Greek accent. I went upstairs after getting my delicately hand-crafted lunch where it was much more quiet and serene. I took a seat near a window and gazed outside at the lights and the frigid New Yorkers walking swiftly to get to their destinations. I could hear a light clamor of the people talking in the caf' and the occasional muffled beep of a cab.

The six hour car ride back to upstate New York gave me time to reflect on my trip to the city. Surely, it was not the same as in the movies. One could not bump into a tall, dark, and handsome man and fall in love in an instant. However, I could not help the feeling that there were endless opportunities in New York City. I now know the bustling people, bright yellow cabs, and the variety of individuals found there is why New York City is known as the city that never sleeps.

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