I want to write history entries (like a bio) for reflection purposes. One of the memories I wanted to talk about was my first time to NYC. I had never been to NYC until a year after 9/11. It was a trip from the Junior Statesman Summer Program that I had attended at Yale University, I came from the Virgin Islands to Connecticut. We were in the city for a discussion among political figures and there was even a political cartoonist there, I bought one of his books.
Prior to that, my destination had always been NYC. From since I was a young girl I would dream about coming here, I grew up in the Caribbean so my closest knowledge, since I didn’t have television, were those from the Encyclopedias that my mother had given me. I read about the different tourist attractions and the immigrants who came to Ellis Island. I read about the different boroughs and metro etc etc. I was definitely excited when we left New Haven and visited NYC. However when I got there, my first impression wasn’t so great.
Up until today, I am not sure where exactly we were let out but I remembered the extremely horrid smell emitting from the alley as we got off the bus and the heat wave from the midsummer’s sun. “This place smells,” was my first impression. From then, it was exactly how I imagined, the skyscrappers, the street and the people walking all over the place, nothing crazy – nothing too exciting.
A group of students and I decided to go to Ground Zero. It was a long 20 block walk to where the World Trade Center used to be. I didn’t want to go but we had to go in groups if we were to go sightseeing. It was extremely depressing and we looked at the memorials that were made across the street. I bought a tiny keychain.
We walked back and decided to eat. I bought a hot dog from the hot dog stand (yes I did – after all, i wouldn’t have had the entire experience without it). A NYC Hot Dog. I decided to draw the guy who sold me the hot dog and his stand. I told him it was my first time in the city and I wanted to give him the drawing. The smile on his face made me happy, wow some nyers are nice – I thought.
I went to finish my hotdog and he came by and gave me a cassette tape (yes a cassette tape) of music from his country. I was happy! To this day I dont know what any of the songs say… it was songs from India.
I will write more about why I came to NY.