The Concrete Jungle Everyone Loves, New York City.

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If I could blame one person who should be responsible for starting my New York City fantasies, I would probably point my finger at Kevin McCallister. That’s right, everyone’s favorite kid in the 90s. Going way back around 17 years ago, I remember it was my very first time watching the Home Alone series while eating breakfast cereal with my little brother. We loved it so much that it instantly became our favorite movie at that time. Even though both of the movies were great, the sequel which was shot in New York City, was the one that captivated me the most. From his adventure, Kevin McCallister managed to impress me by showing how magical and amusing the city is, especially during the holiday season. Central Park looking all white covered in snow, the skating rink, the toy store, the magnificent view of Manhattan from the top of Twin Towers, the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, everything seemed wonderful. I was so stunned to the point where I promised myself to visit the city one day no matter what it takes. I fell for New York City ever since.

Before I came here, I’d heard stories that New York is not as pretty as the one you see in the movies. It’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s unsafe, and all sorts of other bad stuff that you could imagine. Well, they are right. I hear sound of sirens everywhere I go, it’s so loud but that’s fine. It’ll probably be gone in 20 seconds or less. There are always piles of trash in the sideways. As a matter of fact, I’m starting to think of it as part of the landmark now. This city can be harsh and mean as well. One day, some guy tried to snatch my phone from my hand when I was walking down the busy 42nd street but hey, I managed to get it back plus a random stranger happened to help me get up and made sure I was ok. So yes, New York City might not be as fantastic as I had envisioned before and I sure did need a little getting used to at first, but today I’m already feeling like at home.

Now that I’ve lived here for several months, I guess it’s neither the tall buildings, the landmarks, nor the fancy little restaurants that fascinates me about the city anymore. It’s the energy that I get from these inspiring New Yorkers everyday. It’s the spirit of creativity and the sense of freedom. New Yorkers are nice, they are genuinely nice and helpful to me no matter where I come from and what my sexual preference is. They make me feel like I belong in the community although I’m a foreigner. I can go on and on about this but eventually, there’s only one thing to say: I can’t help but fall deeper for the city.

Often times I still find it hard to believe that I’m in New York City right now, especially when I realize that I’m actually living here, not just visiting. It feels surreal.

N.