NEW YORK IS A CITY THAT IS SO DIVERSE, you’ll fit in no matter how weird you are. It does not matter if you are black or white or any shade in between, you will definitely feel comfortable on the streets because there is always someone in your color. Languages? This city speaks an estimated of 170. You can probably survive speaking your native language instead of English.
NEW YORK MAY BE COMPARATIVELY SMALL in land area, but being the world’s most diverse city, the whole world fits right in here. One of the most notable attractions featuring the international message would be the United Nations Headquarters. Located at Turtle Bay, which boasts of a neighbourhood filled with diplomats and peace parks, the territory is considered international property and not under US jurisdiction. All flags of the 191 nations fly outside, but when I saw the Malaysian flag all tangled up, I wonder if there is any omen in it (I hope not). It was sad that all the guided tour were sold out, and the tour is the only way of getting into the main buildings. I however, got to see the ‘knotted gun’ sculpture outside which symbolizes peace and also the ‘earth’ metal statue representing world harmony. Stores at the basement sells all kinds of UN souvenirs and books, and they even have shelves decorated with cultural items from all the countries (here are the ones from Malaysia).
CHELSEA would always be known for its GLBT community. The rainbow-colored flag outside tells you that the store or bar is for queer people only, and according to my homestay uncle, it is best that we stay out from them as they only serve to those specific group of people. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders (that is what GLBT stands for if you don not know) can be open and comfortable here without judgemental looks from others (okay, maybe they still get them from visitors).
This area is also an artsy place for artists and all those artistic people. The old large warehouses were now rented and transformed into studios and galleries where the artists can call them home. Even on the streets, you get to enjoy all these free art. I enjoyed the museums in Upper East Side, but the Chelsea galleries has a more realistic and humane feel to it, and that makes it easier to relate. The pieces have messages to be told and energy that awaits channeling, and it is a miracle that I learned to appreciate them. I can only imagine if my sister, Gennie were here. If this place is such an inspiration to artistic challenged people like me, I wonder what would happen if true talented people like her get here.
A SHORT VISIT TO BLOOMINGDALE’S made me notice another group of people who would definitely find their place in New York – the rich and wealthy socialites. This huge high-end emporium occupies an entire block and boasts of many stylish designers and brands. Before today, I did not know that Calvin Klein and Michael Kors each have their own home furnishing line. But for people like me, there’s nothing more to do here that to stare at those lavishly tagged items (a pair of jeans go up to $200 during clearance sale).
AN INTERESTING EXAMPLE WOULD BE THE STAR WANNABES, it does not matter if you are a jazz trio performing in a park, or an odd looking old man doing your thing under a bridge, New York remains ever so welcoming and forgiving. If you think you do not fit in the crowd at your place, consider relocating to New York, where even the weirdest of people find themselves a companion.