Monday, December 12, 2005

It’s Thanksgiving break, I’m sitting on a train and feel as if I’m about to fall asleep; it rocks on the tracks so soothingly and the grinding metal is taking on the unexpected role of a lullaby. I’m returning from a city—well, not just a city, “the city,” as most seem to refer to it. New York, a city so big and foreign to me that this may be the truest wandering I’ve done this entire semester.
I arrived in the morning, and the city was already bustling with life. It seems that New York always is, it really lives up to its hackneyed moniker: “The City that Never Sleeps.” The town seems a machine fed by the hustle of life. People rush by me everywhere, and I feel stranded, although I’m with a friend, neither of us are very familiar with the city and decided to visit on a lark. Everyone seemed to know where they were going. If New Yorkers had their own language, I doubt they’d have a word for languor. It is no surprise really, the air seems to be charged; massive buildings and corporate offices loom above, a constant reminder of American productivity.
Everything seems to move here except the buildings themselves, people of all shapes, sizes and ages zoom by, cars roll down the wide avenues and streets save a momentary lapse for lights or traffic. Even the animals are in motion: pigeons flit about, rats scurry in alleys and dogs pull their masters along at proper, Manhattan speed. And there is everything here, food, stores, museums, everything. It occurred to me that if there were to be a diorama of humanity, it would be New York, there didn’t seem to be anything missing, love, hate, old, young, rich, poor, crazy, genius, nothing was left out.
After making our way in and out of various stores and sitting down for the first real slice of Pizza I’d had since moving to DC—it was warm, cheesy (but not too cheesy), crisp and the size of a child’s head—it was time to depart. I had one last look at life before returning back into Penn Station and my life. Everything already seems slowed; people nap or laze about the commuter train, recuperating after being subjected to a New York pace for an entire day. I have to go back to school tomorrow, and only one thing occurs to me: I have to get out of DC.

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