New York Skyline

Why New York Is My Second Home

It was the winter of 2013 when I first arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York. I had never been to the bustling city before, but it was definitely somewhere I had wanted to visit for a while. The crisp, cool air from a recent snowfall felt chilly, especially for someone who was used to the constant weather in southern California. However, I actually grew to love the snow. There was something about the winter season that just entranced me and allowed me to experience something completely refreshing for the first time. I definitely think one of the highlights from my first trip was visiting the United Nations. I remember all the flagpoles placed outside and the tour guide asking what the name of the last country was. At the time, I literally guessed the first letter of a country that started with the letter Z:  Zimbabwe. It turns out I was right and was utterly shocked. I think that the Global Issues class, I had been taking my freshman year of high school, had paid off. For New York City itself as a whole, there was never a dull moment when walking around shops or streets. The subways were a great way to see certain views of the city and explore new places. The Max Brenner restaurant was another place that I truly enjoyed. 

It was like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, all put into a single restaurant. Practically everything had chocolate included in the menu, not just the desserts. The parks in the city were a really awesome place to see a night view of the city from afar. I also had fun doing snowball fights with my cousins. The bridges were also spectacular to walk on since you could see so much from the center of them.

Night View from Gantry Plaza State Park Original photo by Lauren Seberos As for the second trip to New York, in winter of 2018, it felt even more special than the first one. I had discovered even more than the previous trip and remembered the familiar places I grew to know as home. These small spots included: a little corner shop that had tasty plantain chips, an amazing small taco spot that stayed open pretty late and a large bookstore that I came across after visiting the Museum of the Moving Image. I also visited the M&M’s store which was really fun and essentially wanted to buy everything. New York, while I was there, had a sense of community among store owners and their customers. A lot of customers seemed to be regulars and would know the owners by their first name. As big as this city was, those small interactions made me smile. Los Angeles has small pockets of different areas, but New York had a uniquely different vibe than where I grew up. I felt excited to meet new people and was able to satisfy my adventurous side. There is a piece of me that has never truly left this growing and lively city. As for now with the current pandemic, I know New York City is not the same as I left it. I saw the empty streets of Times Square and other wonderful areas that I had once roamed, completely silent. A silence which was strange and saddening. Despite this, I hope once again to visit my second home in the upcoming years with a new revival of the thriving city. New York has been and always will remain as a strong connection to where I find my true self. I can’t wait to explore what new memories are yet to come

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Original photo by Lauren Seberos