Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three words (well four): A True New Yorker

Students pose before The New York Times building.
By Tammy Chan (Queens, NY.)

Being woken up by the ‘obnoxious’ knock on the door at precisely 5:45am was no fun. Not hearing the knock on the door and having your roommate wake you up is still another story. Already inching towards that 6:30am meet-up time, I hurried to get ready with a quick shower and threw on some business-casual clothes. It was a bit uncomfortable to say the least, but to be able to go back to NYC was soooo worth it.

I have to say I’m a true New Yorker.

During the bus ride, I was knocked out. But being able to wake up just as we got past the line distinguishing New York from New Jersey should really tell you something.

As soon as we stepped off the bus in the heart of the city, Times Square, I could smell the polluted air, see the trash-infested streets, the overcrowded sidewalks filled with pedestrians, and feel the true rhythm and beat of the city itself.

To some people, NYC may not be the place for them. “It’s dirty. It stinks. The subway ride sucks.” The comments continue. But to people like me who were born and raised in the city itself, it’s become an addiction that I have to come back to no matter where I go.

Bring me to the city parts of any state, any country, and I’ll only have one thing on my mind: “When am I going back to NYC?” Bring me to Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, and nothing will EVER compare to NYC itself. Whoever thinks differently, please enlighten me and take it up with me.

I guess it’s the overcrowded streets, how the overcapacity always exists. I guess it’s how there’s actually a pace you have to master before you can tackle Times Square and knowing what moves to make while walking. You gotta maneuver each of your body parts. Arms to the side, definitely no swinging. Bags clutched tight by your arms. Look straight ahead. And definitely DO NOT whatsoever stop in the middle of the street. Dropped a sweater? NOT WORTH IT. Keep it movin’, it’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make. Don’t believe me? Give it a try and don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Nonetheless, there’s no room for hesitation, you have to keep it pushin’. If you don’t, you’ll get demolished. Shoulder bumping, toe stepping, arguments arising. That’s NYC for you. But that’s what drives me towards NYC the most, being a spectator whilst walking and witnessing these actions happen before your eyes.

It’s the polluted air that characterizes NYC. I don’t find anything wrong with that, honestly. My lungs are probably blackened by that fact and not by second-hand smoke, but it’s become an obsession. I’m obsessed with the city life because I am, in fact, a city girl.

Bring me to Princeton, NJ, and take me out of the city, but you can never take the city out of the girl. That’s exactly how I feel.

If you can’t handle it, don’t come. I can say I’m an advocate of NYC. I could imagine myself in the real estate realm, advocating prospective NYC residents to ultimately move here.

You got to walk the walk, talk the talk—even with that “New Yorker accent” everyone claims you have. Hold your head up high, speed walk for life, and keep it pushin’. If you’re gonna be a true New Yorker, you got to act like the New Yorker. So wear that pride on your sleeve, and wear it right, we have a rep to protect. Seriously.

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