New York fascinates me. I remember I didn’t like New York at first and was confused why the city is so famous. Downtown was ok but there is only so much you can enjoy it. On one of the visits that lasted three months approximately I got to explore the city and fell in love with it. I read encyclopedias on New York in public libraries and found it to have quite interesting history.
I had known how the city has supported various ethnicities as well as saw it in the movies but I found everything to be quite true. At times it was difficult to believe it is really U.S. because various ethnicities have preserved their cultures so well. I heard so many different languages and accents and so many people with minimum or no English language skills yet it didn’t affect their quality of living at all. Everyone was in US yet everyone lived like they would in their own countries. Something is always happening in New York and you will always find some kind of free entertainment any day and time. People looked proud and New Yorkers had strong loyalty to personal style and fashion. You could see people had style even in professional dresses. The people in Manhattan truly looked elite.
When I met people, I felt they were one of the least affected by media stories. They would ask about you and your family and really seemed fascinated by stories they heard. You would see people hanging out in groups with all kind of ethnic looks. People came from so many different professional backgrounds that you would wonder how they even came to know each other. I felt that people in New York actively seek new acquaintances because social life is an effective way of dealing with work related stress.
I also noticed the abundance of restaurants in New York and someone told me that this city has the most restaurants of any city in the U.S. and probably the world. It was easy to see because when people would decide about going out, often they would debate by ethnic category such as Chinese, Japanese, Cuban, Jamaican, Thai, German, and so on. Any country I ever named, it seemed I could find its food somewhere in New York.
Manhattan looks relatively younger than other NYC burrows but besides Brooklyn, Queens etc. I found lot of well preserved old buildings sandwiched between new establishments and surprisingly, they didn’t look odd at all. There was no shortage of the old city establishments that tourists could visit if they wanted a glimpse of the city life in the early 20th century or before that. It was not unusual to walk to a place and suddenly remember the place from a particular movie. Walking around Manhattan often reminded me of Sex and the City especially the scenes from the intros that show Manhattan blocks, taxis, and the Bus. When I went up the Empire State building, King Kong came to mind. You often wonder how these so tall buildings have been built; it just amazes you. You also think of the music videos from the 70’s and 80’s when you look at the wall graffiti. New York is truly an artistic city. Dreams look alive even in the poorest neighborhoods.
The world capital has to be a city where people from all over the world live and live in harmony with each other. Of all the cities I have ever visited or heard of, I don’t know any other city that has been so talked about by my international friends and so well enjoyed. New York should really be the official capital city of the world and should be a benchmark for other cities trying to become a truly global city. A global city doesn’t have to be defined by global investment but should equally be defined by its population composition and how welcoming it is to foreigners.