The summer before my junior year in high school, my family and I took a trip to a completely new world. Being from a small town, I had never really been exposed to the elements of a large city such as New York City. My trip there was like discovering an entirely new way of life that I had only heard stories of previously.
For about the tenth time the morning of the flight, I checked my room to make sure I didn’t leave anything essential behind. My stomach was doing flips as we arrived at the airport and made our way to the gate. It didn’t get much better than this: I watched through the window as the runway zoomed by and the buildings and houses became smaller and smaller as the plane gained altitude. An exhilarating feeling overcame me as I realized that I would soon be in one of the most amazing cities of the United States.
As we stood waiting for a taxi outside of the airport, it was immediately apparent to me that New York City was not the same as New Caney, Texas. It seemed like everyone there was in a hurry to get to another place. The loud and constant sound of cars honking was heard throughout the entire trip. As soon as a car seemed to be going slower than the person behind him liked, he would hear the horn of that car to let him know that he was apparently holding everybody else up! When we found our hotel in Times Square, I noticed that it wasn’t just the cars that were in a hurry. Everyone in the streets was walking at a brisk pace that indicated a rush to be somewhere. The transportation of the city was also far different than anything that I had ever been exposed to. In my little town, a bike, a car, or even walking was perfectly suitable for getting around town, but in this foreign land, there were many more ways for one to get to another destination. Everywhere you looked, there were people hailing taxis, waiting on buses, rushing underground to the subway stations, walking frantically, or desperately trying to maneuver their own cars through the busy streets. Just standing and watching the many people rushing their own separate ways was an interesting observation.
In addition to the people and transportation, the buildings were also an incredible sight. Each street was crammed with buildings that were built side by side with no room in between them, and a number of skyscrapers were present throughout the city as well. I was awestruck again as we went inside some of these buildings such as the Empire State Building and made our way towards the top. Standing outside of one of the top stories of the Empire State Building was awesome. I could hold the entire city in my hand from this view. I could even see Ellis Island a distance away from there. The stores were also large compared to the ones of my little town. A small retail store in New Caney would be a huge store that took up an entire building in New York. This would make it seem logical that the prices of everything in New York were almost triple those back home. It was as if the little peaceful neighborhood where I lived was magnified by 100 to make up the wonder city of New York.
My visit to New York City was a life changing experience. For the first time in my life, I was exposed to a little taste of what the real world is like. The incredible modes of transportation, the huge skyscrapers, and all of the thousands of people made me anxious to grow up and perhaps move to an incredible city such as this one. Either way, my first trip to New York was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, one I will always treasure.