New perspective on NYC – Antonia

I had such a great time! It was really exciting to be back in the city after taking this class and being much more aware of the politics, culture and history and the way spaces are used . It was really fascinating to be in spaces that I had been in hundreds of times before, but not noticed a specific building or known what had ben there before. The city this time really felt like a big museum and amusement park. Biking around the city is a great way to get a more holistic feel of it. You enter streets that normally you would miss on a train or taxi or if walking it would take much longer to get to different places, or you maybe stuck in a routine. Biking in the city gives me a sense of ownership in freedom, one because I decided where I want to go, and I do not have to be reliant on the train or pay money to get around. Many people in the city spend little time outside, I even experienced this when living there. People wake up, walk to the train and then walk out of the train and go to school or work and then after the day is done, they do the same. This system keeps people inside, believing that it is unnecessary or impractical to go outside. If more people were outside, and biking around, new communities would begin to form and people would see parts of the city that before they were blinded too. Many people say that the city is boring, but I believe that is because they are stuck in their routine. There are infinite things to do and explore in the city. So many people to meet, organizations to be part of and things to change. This trip inspired a new sense of appreciation for the city and an even greater appreciation of being at Bard. Before going to Bard, I had never really experienced spring like I did this year. I was aware that spring was coming, and I have been able to see flowers, trees, and processess that before I was oblivious to. Although the city is a wonderful place, it is important to also get out and see the world, even if it is just upstate. In this concrete jungle, people definitely do get in a funk. Constantly breathing in toxins and hearing noise is unhealthy. Something that this city is seriously lacking in, is green space. When biking around the city, I was so frustrated by the inconsiderate drivers, police and city planners, that still have not put more bike lanes. The city is not yet designed to by a biker friendly place, and the drivers, especially taxi drivers still lack a respect for them. There definitely exists a sense of authority in the people who drive cars, and the city makes this feeling come easy by the way the streets are designed. Experiencing the city in a more focused way allowed me to see and think about new things. I would recommend people who go into NYC to bike around and focus on observing the street vendors, or old buildings, or everything, but be active. Especially look up and not always at the concrete, there are so many beautiful architectural designs on top of buildings, that we usually miss!


One Comment to “New perspective on NYC – Antonia”

  1. This is great! I’m glad you are looking at the city differently as a result of this course! It would be interesting to hear more about efforts to make NYC more bike-friendly. Post some links on this (there is a lot out there).

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