New York City has always been an example of how diversity can exist in a successful and peaceful place. Full of action, enthusiasm, and a combination of many cultures, New York is rich in every sense of the word. For example, taking a walk down the busy streets not only opens your eyes to the small but meaningful details of the city and the different people that revive it but also the numerous worlds that are somehow fused in this magical city, like Little Italy, Chinatown, Little Syria, Korea Town, and many others.
Following the steps of the Dutch who first came to Lower Manhattan, we embarked on the Staten Island Ferry on Sunday, Nov. 10, and we could see one of the world’s most famous figures: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French to the U.S. that was put in such a strategic and historic place. The view of the green icon from the boat that was transporting passengers from Staten Island to Lower Manhattan, with the skyline of New Jersey in the background, and New York to our right, was a delightful experience. Not one person on the ferry was like the other, one could see people from all over the world, joined together and representing New York’s diversity, trying to relive the same experience that the Dutch had centuries ago. Some people take this ride every day for work; others were simply tourists or inhabitants of the New York metropolitan area.
The arrival to Manhattan was like an entry to a whole new world: from the sea, its breezes, color, and landscapes, to the heart of the city beating louder than ever at the Whitehall Terminal. I could smell New York’s bagels in Battery Park with a mixture of the most relaxing scents: the coffee people were holding while walking down the streets, the old walls of Castle Clinton National Monument, the cool breezes of wind coming from the sea, and even the smell of autumnal colorful trees decorating New York’s parks in mid-November, and adding to Lower Manhattan the sense of nature that was never lost amidst all the industrialization and skyscrapers’ effect. At that moment, I realized why the first immigrants wanted to settle in New York, and what triggered their dreams of creating a new world there.
“Oh, excuse me, am I blocking your view?” asked a man who was cleaning the street of the fallen leaves in front of an old Castle wall. “No, it’s ok, you’re part of the New York landscape,” replied Prof. Buzharsky, who was explaining how the castle is one of the few monuments to have survived in New York over time and after Hurricane Sandy hit last year.
Meanwhile, most of us were busy taking pictures to immortalize the feeling from standing in that spot, enjoying the city’s charm. We walked up on Broadway to where the bull statue was, believed to provide perpetual luck by touching it. People of all nationalities were fighting the crowd to reach out for the bull, as the wind was making the process even more difficult. Trying to stick with our group and wait for our turn to take a picture, we could...