Bright Lights and Star Filled Skies This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 13, 2010
By , Elizabethtown, PA
Bright lights, skyscrapers, and Broadway musicals are all characteristics of New York City and the reason why so many people call it home. Although some are attracted to the excitement and thrill of New York City, to me the serenity found in rural Lancaster County is far more desirable than the hustle and bustle of millions of people. These two places, although very different on the outside, can also present a few similarities when looked at closely.

New York City is a place where people enjoy visiting, but also a place where many call home. There are numerous activities to do and sights too see which provide endless enjoyment to all of its occupants. From the skyscrapers that line the horizon to the music on Broadway, New York City presents a variety of opportunities that appeal to many different people who are longing for adventure, excitement, and glamour. The large range of ethnicities and backgrounds scattered throughout the city offers people a sense of belonging, which can appeal to those searching to fit in. To some, New York City may appeal to them because of the people, however, to others the idea of being part of something big brings them the greatest pleasure as they embark on new adventures. The rich history of New York also draws many people to this city. Whether it is to see the Statue of Liberty or to tour Ellis Island, people travel to New York fascinated with the events of the past, which shaped the nation. Unfortunately, tragedy also brings people to New York as visitors and residents alike gather at the sight of the fallen twin towers, some searching for answers, others hoping for closure.

Lancaster County may not seem as exciting and attention grabbing as New York City, but to some people it means the world. From the fresh country air that greets the senses on a mid- summer day to the thick blades of grass padding the ground as one walks in their bare feet, the country provides a different kind of thrill. The acres of land provide open spaces making it possible for a variety of activities such as going snowmobiling in the winter and riding dirt bike in the spring. In the summer time, the scent of cow manure can be smelled being sprayed on the fields as farmers provide extra nutrients for their crops while praying for a more bountiful harvest. The smell might not be a pleasant one, but it is a necessity for the farmers who are making a living off the land. Horses and buggies can often be seen driving around, offering endless enjoyment to the various tourists who visit Lancaster County for the single purpose of seeing the Amish. The simplicity of how the Amish live may appeal to those who are burdened and stressed with the busyness of their own lives as they yearn for the same kind of serenity.

New York City and Lancaster County are very different places. In New York one can find skyscrapers, cement sidewalks, and light posts lining the streets. However, in Lancaster County the light posts are replaced with tall trees, the sidewalks are dirt paths connecting farms and fields, and the skyscrapers are the silos on the nearest farm. While in New York City, buildings and streets can be seen for miles, in Lancaster County there are farms and fields as far as the eye can see. The bright lights in Lancaster County are the countless twinkling stars shining above on a clear summer night, while in New York it’s the numerous flashing signs and streetcars typically seen in the city. Although these differences may seem never ending, similarities also connect these two places. Both New York City and Lancaster County provide new experiences and activities for many tourists and sightseers. These places offer a change in scenery for those people who are bored with their everyday life, and an opportunity to visit somewhere they have never been.

These unique environments may seem like two completely opposite places, and it’s true, they are. However, once you take a step back and look more closely, you will see that the similarities connecting them are what really count. It doesn’t matter whether a person lives in the city with lights and noises surrounding them or if they live out in the middle of nowhere, each place can provide a sanctuary and a place where they can truly call home. For me, where I call home is a place where the smell of car exhaust is replaced by the scent of honey suckle and fresh cut grass. Where stars are not only seen, but wished upon, and where God’s creation is evident everywhere you look.

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Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I have been to New York only once. I found it to be a very interesting place; yes, because of the numerous people, the large buildings, and the many places to visit. However, I don't think that I could ever call it home. My home is "where my heart is." Lancaster County seems like a great place.

Personally, I am a lover of the Amish people.

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