By SADIA J. CHOUDHURY
People’s opinions on New York City have always been somewhere in the middle. Some people say it’s dirty, smelly, frustrating, exhausting, rude, dangerous and the list goes on. Some people find it exciting, inspiring, diverse, evolving, fascinating, convenient, and so on and so forth. Both of these points of views are true from time to time, but which side should everyone be focused on? If E. B. White, the author of ‘Here Is New York,’ had to answer this essay’s question, he would say that it should be known for both because, even if the city is truly a dream, it still has the toughness to it. If Akiko Busch, the author of ‘Kickflipping New York,’ had to answer the same question, she would say that it should be known for whatever people want it to be known for because people have different points of view and different needs from the city. It should depend on people how they want to view the city. I think the city should be known for its beautiful side that gets people inspired, motivated, excited and many more bursts of blissful emotions. But we can’t help the fact that the city is overly romanticized by social media. It ignores all its social problems, such as increased rate of crime, homelessness, overpopulation, competitiveness, which leaves people new to the city feeling lonely and afraid.
New York City is very dynamic. It is where people are moving non-stop. It is the home of hustlers, people who are filled with dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Everyone just keeps going till they reach their goals which makes the city so beautifully inspiring. White states, ‘there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last — the city of final destination, the city that is a goal’ (2). He expresses that people from different parts of the world who come to this city tend to have stronger goals. Those people are working harder than others because if they don’t they won’t have a purpose being in the city. This really shows how the people who come to New York City are exceptionally inspired by the people who have achieved their dreams being here. One example I can give you is my own sister who is a role model to me and she started her journey of achieving her dreams from BMCC. She used the city’s resources like its people for connection and its uplifting environment for never giving up.
Everyone is so focused on reaching their goals and experiencing the beautiful feelings of the city they tend to forget the other aspects of it. I am talking about crimes, violence, assault, homelessness, poverty, overpopulation and the list goes on. Brunson Braga, et al., write, ‘While serious violence in New York City has reached historical lows, fatal and non-fatal gunshot
Injuries re- main a persistent public health problem for city residents’ (1). The authors indicate how bad the violence is getting due to underground gun markets in New York City. These markets or even violence in general might be mostly caused by these social issues crawling through the city. We have been experiencing these crimes in the city since forever, but since covid these crimes have worsened. I have experienced anxiety and paranoia recently while being on a train or being in the city in general because of the recent shooting in a train in Brooklyn. We all collectively should think about how we should tackle these ongoing issues in the city and how we can make everyone feel safer.
Even if the city hits its low sometimes, its people definitely brighten it up. No matter where you go in the city if you look closely you will find people soaking up every moment or just relaxing and being in peace while being part of the city. Busch writes, ‘I can’t help but realize that our view, indeed our entire experience, of places so often begins with a single image, a narrow and limited view: a single oak bench, a set of stairs, a marble ledge. But it can only expand from there; through these come the broader vistas that make up our view of the city’ (2). This shows how people of New York City help to enhance its beauty by having their own point of view of the city. Someone might be at Roosevelt Island, walking by the water, and just admiring the beautiful cherry blossoms blooming in April might have a mesmerizing point of view of the city. Or someone might have been a victim of the ongoing crimes in the city. Or someone might have even experienced both. All these points of view make up New York City. These points of view can be good, bad, or even both.
At the end you can see New York City however you please. There will always be two sides of everything, good and bad. People should be aware of New York City’s ups and downs from time to time. People come to the city depending on the sources of social media expecting it to be charming at all times. But people should know it is not always like that. Ask someone who lives in the city, they will tell you all about it.