During my recent trip to America, I was able to visit beautiful New York City and observe its hustle and bustle. I enjoyed watching the dance between vehicles moving forward at full speed whilst the unblinking pedestrians darted through the gaps between these vehicles, both parties focused solely on their destinations.
It is truly a concrete jungle worthy of a safari.
New York is well known for being the city that holds quite a diverse population. I learned from the American Immigration Council that “one in five New Yorkers is an immigrant,” which confirmed my observations that many of the citizens I passed were from all over the world as the city boomed not only with the rooms of cars rushing past one another—often accompanied with honks—but the sounds of different languages being spoken as well.
America is often referred to as a melting pot, but I would like to disagree, at least in New York city’s case.
For New York, I have this to say:
Blurs of colours from each person’s complexion to their clothing’s hues vary and the music of different languages that arise from tongues which evolved from different backgrounds come together.
Each person is a speck in the crowds of thousands, but identities remain through the stories they tell with their respective chosen vehicles for expression. I see Saris brush past suits, smell the scent of kimchi wafting from the restaurant down the street, and hear stand up comedians busking in Central Park.
There are areas in which cultures are preserved as you can walk for a few blocks and find yourself in Korea town or a mom and pop shop which has been in business longer than the years I’ve spent on Earth. There are also areas which blend cultures together, as fusion food is also available if you continue walking.
Being immersed amid it all, I do not see a melting pot, but rather street art. For me, together, it all forms a mural spray-painted onto a concrete wall. The blend of fine and coarse when it comes to smooth concrete captures the feeling of the tough, hardened skin that New Yorkers seem to innately have. Meanwhile, the array of colours dance around as they travel across the wall, swirling together for some parts of their journey and remaining pure for other parts. Altogether, they allow the observer to appreciate a beautiful image of elements that somehow manage to remain in harmony with one another and even enhance each other’s unique beauty no matter how contrasting they may seem to be on their shared wall.