Maybe you guys know this about me already, but in case you don’t, one of my favorite things to do is explore New York City. It is my favorite place in the world and every time I’m there I feel as if I pick up a new insight. It makes me so happy to just walk around there, explore a new community, eat some falafel from the hallal man, enjoy time just talking to my friends, engage in a conversation with a person on the subway, learn the ways to make myself feel like a street smart kind of guy. Whatever I do, I feel like the subject of Woody Allen’s opening in his movie Manhattan. The city is this and so much more.
Okay maybe this sounds like it has nothing to do with education, but that is the belief I want to change. The things I pick up on in the city, from just navigating the streets, seeing a new place, interacting with the people, or just thinking about the diversity, power, paradoxes and people that make up one of the greatest cities in the world.
One of my favorite things about the city is that it allows me to get out of my comfort zone. For instance, my friend and I went all the way to 137th street to explore City College and see the neighborhood surrounding it. Neither of us would ever have been all the way uptown otherwise and seeing a new part of the city made me feel more connected to the place I love.
On another occasion I went to the Occupy movement. Seeing a mass movement and all the experimenting they did with having their voice heard was incredible to see. Their message was interesting to hear and whether one agrees with their message, a lot can be learned from seeing people passionate about something.
On one last occasion, I went to a section of Brooklyn over the summer, Crown heights, and learned about how the ethnicities, religions and people there all interact. The city is a place where so many people coexist, interact, and help to better eachother. Of course there are problems, but thinking and seeing the problems of the city helps me to think about larger problems with a new perspective.