Do you see the bright lights from across the river? That is no special light; most of them shine, but this light, it glows into the night. It seems to be coming from the middle of the island that you see in front of you. And you wonder, Are there lights any brighter than those that do not blind but enchant?
The island that I have just mentioned is not just any island. It is called Manhattan. Some call it New York City.
Ever since I was little, I thought that America was a far away, distant land. Maybe it only existed in fairy tales told by parents who excite their kids, to excite them of the land that provided opportunities and futures. Who would have thought that I would be living in the land that I thought was intangible? I am attending one of my top choices of universities, and I could not have been a happier person. When I leave my dormitory, I can see tall buildings standing in their own rights, paving streets and avenues.
I am currently attending New York University, and have decided to live in one of the dormitory halls, located on Fifth Avenue. Yellow taxi cabs often swerve and race past you like busy bees afraid of losing vital amount of honey. As red changes to green, the roads soon erupt with honks, often making those who are new to the city to jump in shock. Many tourists will tend to stand in your way, and believe me, if you are trying to attend class tourists are your best and worst nightmare.
Even though I am now a resident of New York City, there is an inevitable amount of sentiment toward being a tourist. I consider myself, no matter where I am, to be a citizen of wonders, one who willingly wants to explore foreign lands. It is the same for the City. I have visited the City multiple times ever since I was little, mostly because my father worked in the heart of the City. But as I step onto the gum-ridden pavements of the city, cross that sidewalk without even checking to see if the light has changed, it all becomes an adventure. I am swinging across vines of streets, climbing trees that reach up to the highest of skies, jumping across rivers full of blazing automobiles. It is the concrete jungle that I have come to accept as my home as well as my playground.
No matter how long I will here, I know that there will be more than concretes in New York City. This is the one City in the world where immigrants poured in with the hopes of being accepted and starting a new life. Although short, there is a deep-rooted history worthy of cherishing. Many saw this place as the land of opportunity. It still is. My family and I, almost a decade ago, arrived in this country for greater education and experience. There are veins running along the very streets that millions of people walk on. We walk on history, present, and the future of the world in New York City.
But New York City is no paradise. There do exist factors that will disembody the hopes of pioneers. As much as I love living in the City right now, no person living on this same island with me will doubt my words when I say that the opportunities provided come and go like a ticking clock. People often show generosity toward strangers, but some would like to take advantage of those who seem lost. There are men who catcall random women on the streets; I can testify that I fell victim several times than most. Sometimes I feel as though I am drifting along in a mist of cigarette smoke. And for those who know me well enough will know that I despise cigarettes and second-hand smoking. But there is still plenty of fresh oxygen floating around me.
This is to introduce you the City that never sleeps, that never fails to welcome millions of people around the world.
When you step out of the airport, or the subway station, or that famous yellow taxi cab, when your very foot touches the dirty pavements, you are joining millions of others who have started a movement–a movement that only works in a concrete jungle such as New York City: an unforgettable adventure.
What are you waiting for?