Commentary:
NYC can set you free
Posted Dec. 8, 2006

Walking down the lazy tree-lined streets of La Verne creates a sense of comfort for a student with a hectic college schedule; this is where time is worth a grade, and every moment is valuable and intensive.

However taking a break from school and leaving these cookie-cutter streets of predictability for a brisk flirtation with the city that never sleeps can be an act of true illumination.

Brush up against the unknown; take a journey into the abyss and experience a city that puts an extra syllable into the word unforgettable.

New York City has been described as the center of the universe and it lives up to this name by way of the static buzz that seems to cling to its sidewalks and dangle from its hovering skyscrapers.

Catching a cab into the city and gliding over the Brooklyn Bridge can create an almost euphoric state of being.

As the bridge slices over the water, the small island that is the borough of Manhattan pokes through the chaos and the glimmering silver reflection of the magnificent Chrysler building captures your glance and touches your heart.

This city is powerful, and love at first sight is only the beginning.

When compared to the relaxed state of our small city of La Verne, New York is a city on steroids.

Instead of strolling down sidewalks, as we do in La Verne, New Yorkers storm the pavement, catching tourists under the wind of their heels.

Time is also of the essence in New York and this is no better displayed than through the launching stride of local Manhattanites.

Many things distinguish New Yorkers from the rest of the world, but one blatantly obvious distinction is their clothing.

New Yorkers never appear to have rolled out bed.

Whether or not they are dressed to the nines, they have a meticulous sense of style that seeps from their very existence.

From a perfectly arranged tangle of curls to a fabulous pair of well-worn boots – New Yorkers have style covered and it’s no surprise that people come from all over to bask in their shadows.

Unfortunately, as a student from La Verne, it is not too easy to blend into this city.

Tourists have a way of standing out.

From our lazy gawking stroll down the sidewalks that create havoc for old-school New Yorkers who see us more as road blocks rather than actual human beings; to our description of subway lines by color rather than number or letter; and most importantly our sense of style.

Tourists in this city stand out just as brightly as the yellow cabs that we fruitlessly attempt to catch.

While a New Yorker looks like a statuesque advertisement for fashion week, many tourists roam the sidewalks in rags compared to these polished museum pieces.

Although Manhattanites look fabulous gallivanting down the sidewalk in Versace, if they were in La Verne, they would have the appearance of someone attending a costume party.

Fashion in New York is taken to an extreme level; even five year olds are clad in itty-bitty skinny jeans and shag haircuts.

Even though Manhattan gallantly plays the role of the overbearing iron fortress when compared to our city, it is missing our calm sense of community that we enjoy. It is a highly populated place where everyone is in a hurry and chitchat is a foreign language.

But if the bright lights and big city of New York comes knocking; take this advice; go forth and plunge into its sea of adventure; eat those curbside hot dogs, and gawk up at the mind-bending skyscrapers; you may find a new side of yourself that yearns for underground smokey jazz venues and late night art films.

You may get tickled by all the relentless distractions that New York has to offer, and you will probably love it.

And while coming back to the quiet streets of La Verne may seem uneventful, do not forget that one trip to the crazed streets of Manhattan will give you an ocean of memories to last a lifetime.

Katherine Hillier can be reached at khillier@ulv.edu.



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