For most people around the globe, America is a realm of fantasy where dreams dance to life atop golden pavements. However, the true enchantment lies in the city of New York. As the song goes “the streets will make you feel random, the lights will inspire you , and by no chance does it exaggerate the awe of New York City. At nights the bulbs of the sky-scrapers illuminate the sky-line like lights on a Christmas tree. Be it 3 a. m. in the morning or 12 at noon, the city is always in motion.
The highways are stained with the yellows of taxis and the streets are aligned with girls in mini-skirts taking selfies and guys with baggy pants riding their skateboards. In the interiors of the air-conditioned rooms on the seventeenth story are men in black coats typing away furiously in their laptops. In the one-bedroom apartment a teenager is writing in her diary while her brother watches television just two feet away from her. A college freshman is sitting atop her fire escape ”propped on her lab lies open a history textbook with twentieth century pictures of the Chrysler Building.
A father makes his way home from a laborious day of construction ”his hand gripping the steel pole of the train as it picks up speed. New York is a city where you can’t quite tell time. It moves so fast that 60 minutes seems to be 60 seconds, and a month seems less than a week. That’s how I felt when I lived in New York. Each day had a repetitive schedule, but it was so tightly bundled up that I barely had time to sign about disappointments. I would wake up at 8:30 a. m. to catch the 7 train to Thompson Street and then eat my granola bar in the elevator on the way to the 7th floor where my classes were.
However, the loads of work (along with the engagement of the classes) kept me from drifting off to sleep. Before I knew it, it would be 3:15 and Mr. Mills would tell us to finish our creative writing assignment for homework. But it was after school that the real fun began. The freedom I had during freshman year was unlike the freedom I had had all my life. I was allowed to come home as late as 6 p. m. and my mother would never question where I was. Be it after school activities or “other things , she didn’t really care as long as I kept up with my schoolwork.
And so there was barely a day when I headed home at 3:15, for instead I took the time to explore the breathtaking city. So each Friday, me and my two best friends, Jannat and Nishat, would walk to Gantry Park. It wasn’t very close to my school, since it was about a 40 minute walk. We had the option of taking the subway, but it just seemed “cooler to walk there. There was just something about lower Long Island City that would grab our attention every week. One week, however, we decided to go somewhere we’d never dare approached.
We made a left turn on 22nd Street and approached 5 Pointz, a place eminent for it bleak sidewalks and lurking drunkards. There was a building on which the paint was chipped off in random places and cobwebs hung from the windowsill of the first floor. The front door was always closed, and its doorknob was so weathered that it didn’t seem like anyone had touched it in years. The enormous garage in front of the building ”maybe about a quarter of an acre large ”was completely abandoned. This was ironic because you never found so much empty space just laying around ”not in New York City.
On the walls of the building was graffiti of many different forms. There were writings such as “JS Rymz and “The Bark 4A , and there were also pictures of things you only found in horror movies. For example, there was a man with a mummified body yet a human face that had its hands up and was pointing to a white tree with bare branches. There was also a naked woman with a broken heart, as well as a haunted house that had been struck by lightning. Yet, the integral image as a whole of 5 Pointz struck me as quite aesthetic. The fire escapes were made with concrete, and even upon them laid words of different colors.
There was something beautiful about this building of litter and shattered windows. There was something colorful about this portion of the city that other places didn’t have. It stunned me as to just how far people’s imaginations could lead them ”especially the artists of these works, who were probably just poverty-stricken wanderers of the city. The building wasn’t demolished, but rather, it was a representation of expressions. It was the gateway to inside the hearts of many New Yorkers. Everyone, once in a while, feels like a mummy struggling to get a grasp of the life that is ticking away with the passing of every moment.
Everyone has come across the feeling of being shattered, and everyone has had a broken heart. The creativity of the words also interested me, because I didn’t know whether they were band names or songs, or just random words that didn’t exist. “Hey Mitali, didn’t Ezra tell us about this place? Apparently this place was going to be demolished and a company was gonna build condominiums, but the city didn’t let them , my friend Jannat told me. Ezra was our English teacher ”his full name being Ezra Neilson, but he got mad if anyone called him by his last name, and so we just called him Ezra. Yea, he’s right. I mean, this place is priceless.
This graffiti has existed for a really long time ”maybe the early twentieth century perhaps. It has a lot of significance, and I’m sure historians can use it to discover things about the 60s and80s , I said. “Yo, do you guys want to go inside? It seems really cool, Nishat said. “Umm, it’s almost 5, and it’s getting kind of dark ¦ I said. I was usually the one most afraid of taking risks, since I feared my mom would kill me if she found out what I was doing. “Oh common, don’t be such a scaredy-cat.
We’re never gonna get this experience again if we don’t do it now , Nishat urged. “I don’t know ¦ , I trailed off, but Nishat didn’t wait for my response, for she had already begun walking towards the front door. “Hey! That place could have security! I yelled, but of course, I was so much more afraid of what else could be in there. “Ugh, this door doesn’t even open , Nishat moaned as she tried to pry it open. “Um, duh, because no one has been in there in like a decade, I said. “Oh don’t be an idiot; let’s go and try the fire escape, Nishat said. “Gosh, you come up with such brilliant ideas , I muttered.
Although I hesitated (for quite a long time), I didn’t have much of a choice when my other friend Jannat decided to follow her footsteps (literally). “Yo, Jannat, can you give me a lift? Nishat asked. The fire escape was at least 7 feet off the ground. “Yea sure, Jannat replied. “You guys do realize that we’re trespassing, right? I warned. “Yea, I guess that’s another word for it, Nishat retorted. I sighed, there was absolutely no way to get them away from this place. After Nishat put her legs over Jannat’s shoulder, Jannat tried to hoist her up, but it was no use. Nishat’s hands were still a good feet away from the railing.
After ten minutes of attempts, Nishat finally gave up. “Whatever, but next Friday we’re coming back here with a ladder, she said. “Yea okay, I said, rolling my eyes, “good luck to you on carrying a ladder all the way from the Bronx on the subway . “Oh stop, you know I can do it, Nishat said. “Okay, we’ll see about that next week. Can we just get out of this place for now? I asked. Nishat shrugged, “Yea, sure, for today . And so we grabbed our backpacks and made a right turn on 22nd street, and in under the light of the street lamps, we made our way to the subway at Court Square.