New York is a very popular city that everyone is familiar with when they heard of the names of Statue of Liberty, Time Square, and the Broadway, but this place to me is not only just an ordinary city; it is a home that I most feel safe and protected. It has a very special meaning in my life since it was the first home that my family and I resided when we came to America ten years ago. New York was filled with such wonderful memories such as when we tried to adapt to a new life, culture, new people, and foods and learn how to speak English.
It is place of comfort that I feel most at ease and relaxed. Although we only stayed in Queens for half a year when I was still seven, it has always been a place where I consider special and unforgettable.
My trip to Bronx, New York last summer was a very remarkable experience for both my sisters and I.
We traveled to different places and did many activities that we have never went or done before while living in Queens. The thought of reaching New York was so tantalizing that I began to feel a little worried and nervous. It was an endless six hours trip, and every minute seemed like hours as we kept on looking out the airplane window constantly; but after what seemed like eternity, we finally made to our destination. We took a glimpse of the scenery outside, and there we saw thousands of tall buildings lining up next to one another. The city was still very busy and crowded. The colorful lights from buildings, stores, cars, and more, created such an awesome landscape. Everything remained the same as if it was our first day moving to America, our new home country.
The passengers began to take off their sit belts and hurriedly gathered their luggage and bags, getting ready to exit the airplane. It was hot and crowded as everyone started pushing on one another in order to reach the exit as fast as possible. By the time we got out, it was a relieve for all of us.
We drove in our cousins’ car to a small apartment in Bronx where my aunt and grandma lived. It was hard for us to adapt to a new home on our first night of sleep because the bed, the sheet, the pillows, and the smell were quite different, but after my first two days, I was able to adapt more easily to the streets around the apartment, the stores, and the people. A lot of walking was required, and soon it became one of my habits. The area in Bronx and the polluted environment are so different from the ones I know when we were still living in Queens. The neighborhoods were mostly African American, and everywhere you go, you will them see them from here to there. The street was more crowded with people shopping from stores to store. New York is famous for their cultural diversity especially their great variety of restaurants and markets such as McDonald, Thai Tea, Chinese foods, Italian spaghetti, Korean sushi, and Japanese foods.
While my cousins, my sisters, and I took a train to China Town, a group of African Americans children performed their talent in front of the passengers in hope of receiving back rewards. They brought their radios and carried out a street dance style such as the locking, popping, the moon walk, and other styles that I was uncertain of. From what I witnessed, I felt that these children were wonderful and marvelous since they were using their own skills and talent to make money for their living without feeling shameful in front of passengers, who might think they were foolish. I really admired their hard work and also their courageous, but they made me feel that I have never done anything in my life to make my own money.
As we arrived to Canal street of China Town, Manhattan, a sudden shock overwhelm me after I observed the place. This was my first time visiting China Town in New York, and I must admit that this place is much more exciting and enjoyable comparing to the empty and boring one in California. China Town in Manhattan was overcrowded with Chinese immigrants and visitors walking from store to store. The streets was tightly packed, and there were so many small restaurants selling fried noodle, dim sum and seafood, and more markets for fruits, meats, fishes, and drinks. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun when they were competing over the good quality of meats and fruits, workers stood on sidewalk, trying to promote their new products and foods, and young children gathered around in the small playground of the school to play tag and swings. We passed by a market to buy meats and other ingredients for our dinner tonight. The cashier spoke a language that I was certain it was Cantonese because my dad has always spoken Cantonese to me, and I was certain that she did say the phrase “toe chei say,” meaning to thank everyone, but I still struggled to catch her other words since she was speaking too fast.
We then stopped at a dim sum restaurant for our breakfast and spent our whole afternoon playing in the arcade and shopping in stores. That day, I experienced the most embarrassing moment of my life while taking a picture with the man who dressed as the statue of liberty. At first, I thought it was totally free of charge to take a picture with him, but afterward, he hold me back and demanded us to pay him a five dollar bill. To our surprise, both my sister and I had already spent all of our money in the arcades and the stores, and we couldn’t contact our cousins, who were still shopping in the market. My heart was beating tremendously fast as people stopped by to watch us. The man gave us an angry face, but he let it go anyway.
The next day, we took a long trip in the early morning to visit the Statue of liberty, a symbol that I most feel proud of our country, but the embarrassing moment that happened in China Town somewhat annoyed me. It was extremely hot that day as if I could feel the heat singeing my face liked it was 150 degrees. As we entered the harbor in a ship, the first thing we saw was the huge Statue of Liberty, a gift given by the French, who helped our country fought in the American Revolution. The monument reminded me of the hard work and sacrifice of the soldiers who I always respect and feel proud of. All the privileges that I enjoy today such as freedom to worship my religion, express my opinion, desire the things that I want, and choose my own path and career are given by those brave soldiers. We took numerous pictures with the statue and the gleaming and beautiful harbor that surrounded it. I must admitted that this was my most favorite tour throughout my three weeks trip to New York.
In the afternoon, we took the subway to Time square to watch the night view at night. As the sun began to fade away and day became a little cooler, we walked around and observe the wonderful and dazzling lights that made the night feel more bright and cheerful. The view was so awesome that it gave me a sense of shock but joyful, which I would never forget. We passed by the Time Square Tower, the GMC, the big McDonald and more, but we stopped by the theater to watch one of most amusing and exciting movies, G. I. Joe. For the following days, we spent most of our time with our aunt and grandma, cooking, watching funny movies, and playing Tu Sac, a four color games.
The day before we left New York to return back to California, we spent the last time with our relatives at the Jones Beach. The shining sun, the sound of the waves that hit the shoreline, and the white sands were all my favorite. While relaxing under the tent, I took a moment to feel the atmosphere of the place which I could sense the feeling of joyfulness from the cool breeze and the warmness from the sun just like in California. The young ones played cards and tags and splashed themselves in the water, while the elders prepared the foods. It was an amazing and relaxing place where I could feel the bond with my relatives.
There was a feeling of sadness when we had to say goodbye to everyone, but we left with a smile on our face, keeping the memories of New York especially China Town, the Statue of Liberty, Time Square, the beach, the foods, the time we spent with everyone, and finally my embarrassing moment with the man dressed like the Statue of Liberty.