My trip to New York is almost complete and it feels great to be able to conclude that I have accomplished the things I came to do. As an aspiring artist it was important for me to experience the art scene in New York as well as the reality of what it would be like to work and live in this environment. It was not only a class for me but somewhat of a personal challenge to really discover if I could do this, and if I could make it here. I had never been to the city and my main expectation was this idea of polarization. I expected to see and experience the best and the worst of everything, because that is what exists in New York in this blended harmonious atmosphere. The richest, the poorest, the up and coming and the long established people live here together. Experiencing the diversity of the city was really inspiring to me. At any given time there are hundreds of different kinds of people walking the same sidewalk, sharing the same spaces, yet one is able to feel completely alone amongst them. Something that I have noticed in New York is that while you are always with people, you are also always alone, because people move and the city moves around you at an extreme pace. It has been fascinating for me to sit on a bench and watch all of the separate lives existing and moving around one another.
The one stereotype that I took with me on my way to New York was that all New Yorkers were rude, loud, and inconsiderate. In my experience here in the last month people have been a lot friendlier than I expected, especially when I need to ask directions. On the other side of that I have also seen my fair share of yelling, swearing, and angry people but it oddly fits into the mix of continual action that is always happening on the streets of New York, its part of the regional charm.
Reflecting back on everything I have experienced on this trip my idea of polarity seems to hold up. I have seen the best and most treasured pieces of art in the world in extravagant galleries, and walked onto the sidewalk to see the street vendors selling their hand made crafts and paintings. I’ve seen women in fur coats shopping on 5th Avenue, and homeless people being shuffled away from the front of stores all in the same moment. The food here is some of the best in the world, and the $2 hot dogs are great all the same. New York is like no place I have ever been, and the people, ideas, cultures, and resources that exist here are endless. As an art student it has been a truly inspirational and invaluable experience.