New York is the most colorful city I have ever seen. This might seem like a slight contradiction to the neutral skyscrapers and fashion influencer outfits that the city is famous for, but in my short time here, I have seen the most varied range of colors. They teach me something new each time I see them. When I was younger, I dreamt of living in New York City. It was one of those dreams you have as a kid that you don’t even consider an option. In my final year of high school, I realized that there was a slight possibility I could actually achieve this distant dream I had as a kid. It seems unreal, but here I am, living and studying in Brooklyn. Truth be told, it’s nothing like I ever thought it would be like—it’s more.
I witnessed my first ever snowstorm two weeks after the spring semester began. I had never seen snow before. It was like being the main character in an indie film, walking through the city as the storm started around me. The streets, the cars, and the buildings were covered in a layer of cream. It was like a white blanket had fallen onto a city going into hibernation. The city felt more alive than ever, with children diving into piles of snow and adults acting like children again.
The very next day, brown became a familiar color. The beautiful, soft snow that had covered the city just a day before was long forgotten. Footsteps and tire tracks littered the snow-turned-to-slush with brown and gray specks, and there were absolutely no traces of white anymore. It was gross at first, but soon enough, it began to feel okay. New York isn’t New York if you haven’t fallen into the slush at least once.
Red becomes a common color that you get tired of seeing. It’s in the ambulances that rush past you on the streets, or the fire trucks that arrive each time your dorm’s alarm goes off because someone burnt a bowl of popcorn. The flashing red is distracting; each time an emergency vehicle drives by the window, everyone inevitably turns their heads towards it, no matter how intense your classroom discussion might be.
Some of the most distinct things about New York are the green street signs pointing you towards the right direction at every corner. They’re clear indications of where you are and where you’re headed. In this city made out of thousands of streets and avenues, you realize that you’re never quite lost, even when you can’t seem to find your way.
Despite being on my own, a seemingly tiny person in this seemingly never-ending city, I’ve come to realize that even if I’m alone, I’m never quite lonely. The city is an evergreen companion, making me smile even on the days I don’t want to. It never lets you feel blue.
Art by Tien Servidio