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HONK! HONK! HOOOOONK! “Don’t you see the stop light is red?!? That means don’t walk!!! Stupid people…” The taxi driver screeched at the seemingly unfazed pedestrians. The mobs of foot trekkers continued to swarm around and among the passing taxis, ignoring the blaring horn and angry shouts. The two passengers in the backseat held on for dear life as their crazy ride approached their destination in the heart Manhattan. For Oregonian tourist, like Mom and myself, the unimaginable chaos of Time Square is a bit hard to get a handle on. It’s nothing like home, where everyone waits patiently for their light to change out of fear of receiving a ticket and J-walking is a perpetrated occurrence by a small number of people only when traffic is scarce. Here in Time Square, traffic is a continual and unavoidable manifestation that dominates both the roads and sidewalks with human arrogance, pride, and a never ceasing throb of noise. People cross the road when there is even the slightest break in traffic, and cars stop only for red lights because of the large body mass that swells across the streets the very instant the light changes. There is no order, and everyone must fend for his or her self.
However, as crazy as the city streets are, and as obnoxious as the pedestrians and cab drivers can be, a certain air of excitement can always be found in the streets of the city that never sleeps. We had our stay at the Marriott Marquis Time Square, whose front doors open right up to the epicenter of the bustling square; witch is really more of a long rectangle. No matter what time, day or night, there is always an adventure to be had in Time Square. Now, while it may not be smart or safe to wander the streets in the wee hours of the night, and I’m not saying you should, the Square is always lit by an enormous amount of mammoth sized electric billboards telling where to go to have a good time, how you should get there, and what you should wear. These well-lit wonders light up the night sky so well that if you do not look up, you may never even notice when it is night. During the day the streets are crowded with venders, performers, advertisers, and even folks dressed up in costumes like Hello Kitty and Buzz Light Year for no seemingly apparent or obvious reason. And that is just a small taste of the grand excitement that is New York City.
However, Manhattan has much more to offer beyond Time Square. This includes many, many museums. If you picked up a map and tried to count all of the museums, monuments and memorials on Manhattan, you would be counting for a very long time. Not only would it be incredibly tiring to see everything NYC has to offer, it would also take a exceptionally long time. We did however manage to see the breathtaking, ever standing Lady Liberty, the heart breaking Ground Zero, the prestigious Wall Street, the breath-takingly beautiful Central Park, the extremely informative American Museum of Natural History, the modernly brilliant Guggenheim Museum, and my personal favorite The Metropolitan Museum of Art, currently featuring an extremely detailed, deliberate, and carefully crafted exhibit of the inspirational works of the recently deceased Alexander McQueen.
My journey to New York and my adventures across Manhattan opened my eyes to the vast cultural diversity that can exist within one city. It was a life changing experience that has taught me to think from a new perspective.