Saturday, January 15, 2011

NYC's Bipolarities

Today I had the opportunity to drive around the city on a very tiring, very strenuous adventure to Ikea. It was a surprising experience . I've come to realize that driving around makes the city seem much more humbling, less majestic. As if the buildings no longer hold an invisible, oppressive power over you. It felt as if I was an equal with the towering cement instead of just a small passerby commuting on feet, somewhere between hilly sidewalks and sewer systems.

Over the past year and a half, I've developed the habit of rarely looking up. Partly due to a fear of being pooh-ed on. Partly to make sure I do not trip on things or bump into others on busy corners where we move like a school of fish. Partly because looking up makes me feel so minuscule in this skyscraper city. Manhattan is only 13 miles long! 2 miles wide! Cultivating over a million residents! Thinking of these numbers makes me feel meek, like a tiny plastic person in a architectural model. More so like a flurrying dot in a snow-globe: where the whole world is constantly looking in at finances, trends, and culture. Shaking it up to stir a commotion occasionally rattling those within.

And sometimes, I'm Gulliver as a giant walking above fellow city-dwellers. On manic days, this overwhelming sense of extraordinary accomplishment cascades throughout my body from head to toe. I glide across the sidewalks, swiftly dancing in between pedestrians. I look up, I face forward and confidently strut the city I had always dreamed of. Thinking I've made it. High off of city life.
View from the top of Empire State Building, March 2010
Subway rats  (UnionSq), Spring 2010


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