I have long held to the belief that it is the experiences of the citizenry that add to the soul of a place. This city is a perfect example. When a large population is squeezed into a small area human nature becomes more apparent. It is in this setting, under times of extreme chaos, that New York has forged its modern soul. A sense of redemption and a cautious, steel-willed, optimism seemed to be apparent everywhere. From small acts of kindness on a crowded subway, to the words “Still Standing” displayed on the hoods of fire engines; this place screams out in true New York fashion, “You want me? Come fucking get me.” In all of my travels, no other city seems to capture the American Spirit quite like The Big Apple. It would be an honor to have the opportunity to finish my degree here. Only time, my grades, and the colleges themselves will tell if I will be given that chance. Either way, I will be returning soon. A special thanks to my hostess for the week, Britt. May she continue to seek out the gifts that are offered by this jungle of ornate steel and concrete.
Snow, lit by streetlights, accompanied me on my trek to Laguardia this morning. A fitting and bittersweet end to this journey.
What can be said about this city? It has soul. My parents and a large part of my family grew up in this city. Therefore, I have spent the passed few days considering that this place just may be my birthright. I cannot truthfully say that I came out here for the specific purpose of looking at universities. The allure of this city, coupled with my mounting wanderlust, drove me to this journey. This has been the longest that I’ve been stuck stateside since high school. What can I say? Travel is an addiction; though if someone would have said that to my 24 year old self after my third deployment, I would have respectfully disagreed. I’m writing this by candlelight in an Irish Pub with an awkward name. The Pig and Whistle on 56th and 3rd has great atmosphere on a weeknight, as well as a great selection of food, a happy hour, and a waitstaff that is easy on the eyes. Not to mention that on Tuesday nights they feature an Irish folk band. Who could say no to that? Well piss off if you can, I won’t be buying your next round! Sorry, sorry, this atmosphere brings it out in me. As I write this and sip on my Brooklyn Winter Ale, I’m glancing out the window at a world of 30 degree weather. More than enough for my sub-tropical ass to throw on the peacoat and buy a scarf. Something about this place reminds me of a duet between the Counting Crows and B.B. King. As if a mournful soul suddenly turned to face the sunlight, or is that the light from Times Square? Eh, both remind me of Vegas. Today was my day to tour campuses. Columbia was beautiful and I would highly recommend that everyone visit. N.Y.U. was less a campus and more of a collection of buildings. I would jump at the chance to attend either university if accepted. Shall we discuss which of the two that I have the G.P.A. for? Moving on. Tomorrow brings a trip to the World Trade Center Memorial and a few other touristy things. I will keep you posted, Dear Reader.
It will never cease to amaze me the places that life will take you, if you only let it. I swear to drunk, I’m not god.
An Irish bartender just sent me a shot of Jameson and wished me luck with school. Should I take this as a sign?
I firmly believe that political knowledge and activism are not only rights, but duties as well, but perhaps it would be better to provide a bit of background information first. I serve as the Vice President of the Associated Student Government at San Diego Mesa College. An organization that amidst donating $15,000 a year to fund scholarships, sitting on countless committees, providing funding for clubs on campus, and allocating funds for departments that have a direct affect on student life, still finds time to advocate on behalf of students to faculty and legislators. Twice a year, ASGs from 100+ community colleges across California meet to discuss and vote on measures which are impacting their respective campuses. This past weekend brought us to Palm Desert, California. A beautiful place close to Palm Springs, this city was very clearly a valley (see the pictures) and the climate was a definite change from my beloved San Diego. I mean no disrespect mind you, I have been to my fair share of deserts around the world; they just don’t suit me! However, this city is a well known retreat for tourists and there was no shortage of resorts, spas, and country clubs. I tweeted over the weekend that the “food is only second to the student advocacy” and I stick by that. These meetings of the delegates from each school are governed by Parliamentary Procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order, which is probably my favorite part. The way in which a large group of disagreeing individuals is governed fascinates me. The level of energy felt by our students taking part in the political process was fantastic. They were literally on the edge of their seats. In closing, I would like to thank all Americans who voted this week. It is not my business, or the business of anyone else, which way you decided to cast your vote. I just thank you for taking part in the process. I will leave you with two quotes:
“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” - Plato
“This weekend is Veteran’s Day, so go out and kiss a veteran!” - Professor Robert Pickford