Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 7 hours, 9 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
Sara Al Mheiri: New York, I love you
July 18, 2014
 Print    Send to Friend

“New York, I love you but you are bringing me down” on the corner of the street, an artist sings wearily. Nobody is taking so much as a millisecond pause to hear what this man has to say on his broken down guitar and soulful voice. But I did. In fact, it stopped me in my tracks immediately. I have never heard such an accurate lyric that embodies the wonderful city of New York.
I would move to Manhattan for life in a heartbeat, the city is so full of life and ambition. But it is perhaps the most desolate place I have ever been to. Now, don’t cast me off so quickly, hear me out. How is it so lonely you ask? Maybe I just don’t go out enough? Maybe I’m the problem, not New York? Well, that’s what I thought at first but after living here for two weeks and writing this in my humid, broken lights, one-bedroom apartment, I am telling you, it’s not me.
Here’s why. Those movies where a young ambitious girl finally achieves her highest dream and moves to New York. Well that was me. I would actually have to stop myself from doing a leap and pirouette as I crossed the hectic streets filled with infamous New Yorker cabs and dodged through the thousand tourists. I would often catch people giving me weird looks as I smiled absent-mindedly on the subway at the thought of actually being here.

Even when a row of people yelled at people for my metrocard not working and holding up the lines, that smile was still stuck there. Even when I got trapped in my apartment room for three days straight due to sudden flash floods, I was still grinning from ear to ear. It wasn’t until I met up with my college friend who lived a city away that the smile began to simper. It didn’t hit me until I gave her a hug for hello that I realised how much I missed her. How much I missed basic human contact. I didn’t realise that I had become so lonely that I began to have conversations with anyone who would lend me half an ear. At one point, I kid you not, I scolded a pigeon for fighting with another.

I had often flicked through magazines that had more than a dozen of ‘How love is impossible in New York’ or “Lonely? Well join the NYC crowd.” With over 1.5 million people living in Manhattan alone, why is it so hard to find a friend, let alone love? Is it because everyone is always walking so fast that they hardly take a step back to look at their own lives? I think the biggest stab in the chest is when I walk through Times Square. How many awkward times, a painfully gorgeous guy’s eyes would suddenly lock with mine and his eyes would lit up instantly.
His perfectly proportioned lips would stretch out into a blissful grin and he would march up to me with such confidence. His arms would open wide and just before I can lean in, his arms swoop over me. And into the arms of an also disgustingly beautiful girl. I swear I am not exaggerating when I say this happens at least once a day. And my apartment is two steps away from Times Square. Oh goodie. I don’t even know why or how Times Square is the love zone!

It got to the point where I actually googled “How to make friends in NYC?” How cringing. But I don’t want to have to wait for my friends’ visit. I need friends here before I die of human contact starvation. That’s when I had the great idea of buying a poster, magazines and coloured pens. Three hours later and it was finished. I stuck it on my wall, took a step back and admired it like Van Gogh admired his ear in a box after he cut it off (all the greats get desperate at times).
It was my “Why not” poster. I had filled the entire poster with crazy must-do things in New York City. Next week, I have jazz dance and a simple cake decorating class, with the weekend filled with a scavenger hunt. Tomorrow is fencing. Wish me luck, and if not, spare me a dollar if I am sorrowfully singing alongside the musician. Oh New York, how I love you.

 Follow on Twitter
Sara Al Mheiri is a young Emirati woman who is currently living
in Boston, USA, where she is specialising in media studies with a
focus on women's studies. Sara is the ultimate nomad who flits
between countries observing new societies and their culture.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
Gina Barreca: The surprising journey of ageing
To be young is to be arrogant. I know this not only from personal experience but also from research. Next week, I’ll turn 62. An English professor by trade, I’m a read..
Gina Barreca: I shouldn’t be telling you this, but ...
“We should talk. Are you sitting down? In my humble opinion and with no offence, there’s something you should know. Don’t worry, but I should warn you: You won’t like it...
Ben Chu: Ignore the puffs of smoke from chimneys of markets
Stock markets have been up and down like Santa in the world’s chimneys this Christmas. After taking a record unfestive pummelling on 24 December, American shares experien..
The faces we will never forget
As another year ends, most are looking forward to what will, and might, take place in 2019. However it’s also a good time for reflection, and remember the people we lost ..
Gina Barreca: The pause between no-longer and not-yet
“It’s very important to be one’s age,” poet W. H. Auden reminds us. “You get ideas you have to turn down – ‘I’m sorry, no longer’; ‘I’m sorry, not yet.’” 2019 is our a..
Advertise | Copyright