Evening all… or, afternoon if you’re a reader from the United States.
I have had a wonderful two weeks in New York and in my hometown of Boston. It was a trip of reunions with old family members, friends and to my old church, Bethel A.M.E. It was a trip of witnessing urban transformations in the neighborhood that I grew up in, but more than that it was a trip for the future as I made visits to Harvard University, Emmanuel and Amherst college and Holy Cross college on my search for a place to study after high school. Each institution had its own distinct feature: The cozy atmosphere of the Harvard Yard (or the ‘Haved Jad’ as it’s pronounced in Boston), the urban jewel of Emmanuel, the old world New England nostalgia of Amherst and the religious beauty of Holy Cross. Some campuses made more of an impression on me then others, but I believe every one deserves a consideration by the time I make my decision in the middle of next year.
While I was not able to do that much sight-seeing, I did manage to see the flashing lights and tall structures of New York, the Empire State Building on my first day and Grand Central Terminal on my last near my aunt’s apartment, where me and my father first stayed. I also had a truly visual experience while walking back from Harvard, hearing the sound of buses driving by and students going to class and the smells of hotdog stands, fried chickens, warm, fresh bagels and crispy fall weather.
In a political season I witnessed the fierce battle between President Obama and Governor Romney for control of the White House, in particular the unending rhetoric, political ads and the first debate between the two candidates. While I plan to vote in my first elections under an absentee ballot, I have seen the radical reality of 21 century American politics from the perspective of another country and have a firmer belief in a multiparty system of government.
I will share a pieces that I wrote on a long bus ride from New York to Boston.
Images of an Emperial City
See the behemoth structures lining up in rows; steel and concrete giants reaching up to the heavens.
Hear the thudding of feet across the busy streets, taxis screaming, the roar of trains in the sultry subway, the newsboys cry, ” Get ya Times ‘ere!” filling the air.
Smell the assemblage of sweat, animal and human excretion, hot underground air, coffee shops and expensive leather Armani’s.
An American Rome with its navy blue-suited centurions and plain-clothed citizens; its temples to profit and material deities on every corner.
An Emperial city, never slumbering, dressed in a coat of a million neon lamps.