Songs On Repeat

Monday, July 14, 2008

This place has gotten so comfortable that I'm playing music over and over again in my head and singing it out loud at random intervals. I think I've become slightly creepy.
I know that I always take the time to tout the merits of being here, but I've just realized that there is always something to do here - and to a person who has to be chronically busy, that's a good thing.
Anyway, enough about the merits of Barnard, I am going to write a series of Snapshots of New York in order to profess my happenings here in easily digestible bites. Yeah, that's my inner newscaster.
1. My all-time favorite. We were buying dresses at a local stand and there was a Muslim black woman speaking with a black man; she was outfitted in traditional garb but her voice was definitely characteristic of the American black person. They were discussing women's rights - peacefully! I always hear things about conflict between people: Christians don't understand Muslims, they are automatically targeting each other's faults, making everything seem horrible when it's just different... But they were just talking about how people don't understand that women choose to be under the hijab and that there is respect, not oppression, in that culture. It just made me smile and feel as if there is hope for the world.
2. When we were lost in Harlem (or Washington Heights - we got on a train and went uptown and I don't know from there) it was very scary and there were mobs of shady people and trash [a real 'experience' from a suburban girl who hasn't really met the inner-city (thank God for brown skin!)] However, amidst it all, as Amy and I were walking down we overheard a conversation with a guy and his daughter. He was telling her a story about autistic children and how they have problems; the girl was very small, and so she asked questions. He said that there were people in the world who just didn't give up on them and they improved: his last line was "Don't ever give up on anybody."
3. Walking around Time Square, there are throngs of people. Hawkers selling things on the street, vendors selling halal hot dogs and other tidbits for reasonable prices, Indian-run souvenir shops with long lines of tourists. I think that the bright lights get to you sometimes; you watch up and not down and that's where you get your purse stolen. But I think that the nightlife is what really appeals to me - a short subway ride away there is an all-night party and no one can stop it.
4. These same subway rides, every once in a while, produce something else entirely. From the most innocuous (such as a man singing gospel songs in order to gain a little spare cash) to the most saddening (a one-eyed beggar who could barely speak asking for donations), it is always a different ride. There were kids selling candy for a dollar each so that they could get some money; there were pierced people and cut people just laughing along as they rode downtown... Our friend even got trapped outside the train as we laughed and waited for him at the next stop. It really is a 'snapshot' to take any subway train.

Now that I've gone on way too long, I just wanted to note that there is something different everywhere you turn. No matter where you're going or what you're doing, it's the experience that you're living for - and there's an experience every minute.
We are going to jam-pack our last two weeks here.

Read more posts about my awesome Barnard pre-college experience.
You may also be interested in reading about what happened when I started attending Barnard for college