Assignment 1: Urban at 1st Glance – By Sean Zvi
While I did not technically “walk” around a certain part of the city for an hour, I rode my bike at an ungodly hour (around 5:00 in the morning) for more than an hour from my home to the Brooklyn bridge/Dumbo, Brooklyn area. While, during this ride I was exposed to both upscale neighborhoods to some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the Brooklyn area (especially at the time of day) I will primarily focus on the final destination of Dumbo, Brooklyn. Mostly due to the fact of the experiences that I experienced there was a true showing of all the types of people that we have within the city borders. From rich to poor.
When I first reached my destination I was in awe of all the beautiful lights and land marks that I was in the presence of. However, then I began to actually look around. Next thing I realized, I found myself literally under the Manhattan Bridge, staring at some of the brightest lights, which illuminated the arches of the bridge so beautifully. I then noticed a group of three people enjoying breakfast and I instantly asked if I could take their picture (one respectfully declined to have his picture taken). Nevertheless, as I began to look for the right lighting, angle and settings on my camera to get the shot that I wanted I noticed that in the right corner of the frame (it’s very blurred, but where the bench is) was a homeless man sleeping. I was in awe! “How could some middle class people be enjoying their coffee next to where a homeless man is sleeping? It doesn’t matter how beautiful the view is!” after I took the photo, I began to notice more and more benches and more and more people sleeping on them. The contradiction between the two types of people led me to truly see what New York City really is; a city where some people can enjoy life, and not mind those suffering next to them. The Manhattan Bridge was a resource to both these people, for one group it was a place of serenity, where they could sit and have a wonderful start to the day, whereas for the other group, it was a temporary home that they might not be able to use the next day.