What We Feel and What We Mean
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Category — About New York

My NYC: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, & Bronx

Having lived in New York City all my life, my NYC isn’t just the commercialized Times Square with all the bright lights, heavy commotion, and “I ♥ NY” T-shirts. To start off, I can’t imagine NYC without its complex and historical public transit system of the one and only Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). I have learned and explored so much of NYC thanks to the easy accessibility to subways and buses. Ever since I was little, my dad would take me to various places in the five boroughs so I have come to appreciate the unique characteristics of each borough. Because my family doesn’t own a car, we have adapted to using public transportation for much of our traveling.

There are a myriad of exquisite landmarks and attractions all over NYC. In Brooklyn, there’s the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. In Manhattan, there’s the famous Central Park, and some of my other personal favorites include the High Line and Battery Park. Speaking of Battery Park, I have been on the Staten Island Ferry countless times. I have even been on Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty up close. From where the Staten Island Ferry terminal station is, you can also take a ferry to Governor’s Island, where we had our Macaulay Outward Bound Orientation. There’s nothing like a mixture of colonial history around you while taking a walk or bike riding. I can’t forget about the museums and zoos either. There’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim and so many more. In the Bronx, there’s the Bronx Zoo and of course there’s always the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Coney Island Aquarium. All of these things give NYC its own unique identity.

After attending LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, which is right by the Julliard School of Music, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera House, and Carnegie Hall, there’s no way that these places do not come to mind when I think of NYC. Arts thrive in NYC, and that is no surprise when you have some of the world’s best institutions and performance venues in direct sight.

I believe one of the best things about NYC is its cultural diversity. To this day, NYC is a melting pot. For example, we all know of Chinatown, Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, which highlight Asian communities and cultures. Next to Chinatown, there’s Little Italy, where Italian restaurants occupy the streets. Recently, I visited La Maison du Macaron, a French-style bakery that specializes in macarons- thin, flavorful meringue cookies that are sandwiched together with some kind of filling. It is rare to find good macarons being sold outside of France, but of course in NYC, the chance is just that much greater. I am depicting NYC’s cultural diffusion in terms of food because I think that is one of the easiest ways of showing what NYC has that other cities, etc. cannot offer.

December 21, 2011   No Comments

Macaulay Snapshot




This is the picture that I took for the snapshot event. I think that the NYPD is not just the police department in New York City, but also one of those things that are related inherently to the city and add to the culture of the city. You see the police everywhere in NYC, patrolling the streets, in their cars, or in guard towers. Only in New York City you would need to have such a strong police presence, and the NYPD guard tower really displays it well.

December 20, 2011   No Comments

My New York

To me New York is composed of two fairly localized geographical locations: Bensonhurst, where I lived for 13 years and parts of Tribeca were I went to school. I feel at home on the sidewalks, the schools, the parks. The traditional allure of skyscrapers, the statue of liberty and multiculturalism never attracted me. The latter because I take it for granted and when I think about it, thank god. If living next to a person of a completely different background is as normal as turning on a light bulb, then the world might survive another century or two. As for skyscrapers, I might be too much of a New Yorker in this in the way I never look up – I always walk straight and at a good pace, as if I forgot something. Lady Liberty? For me she’s as remote as Ohio; I never see her.

Then there is of course the subway. I know that I theoretically should be thankful that it works 24 hours a day and I have made use of this on numerous occasions. However, because I never really lived in another city (where this is apparently rare) I do not feel that this is a privilege. On the other hand I notice the cleanliness, reliability and noiselessness of other metro systems and unwittingly I become jealous. I do, in theory, live in the world’s second largest financial hub. Maybe what I saying is a bit of a stretch but I think that MTA should have the decency to make ceiling that do not filter rain through.

December 20, 2011   No Comments

My Visit to ICP

On my visit to ICP recently, I explored the relatively small number of exhibits there and enjoyed a few of them. One of them was a picture of Times Square in the early 1900s. It was an interesting picture because it displayed a historic war monument that was there, but in the background you can see the neon lights and advertisements that would soon take over Times Square. The picture was taken in a time when Times Square was going through its transformation to becoming that entertainment center we all know it as, and it’s interesting to see it being it contrasted with a historic monument.

The 9/11 part of the exhibit was interesting, and also quite graphic. One of the pictures that really stood out to me was one where there were a couple of firefighters lying down near all the debris. At first I thought that they were just resting, or maybe even sleeping, because they have been working so hard. Then I realized that it looked like they were not alive. I couldn’t know for sure because there was no photo description. It just was all really shocking. It’s hard for me to comprehend the deaths of all the people who passed on that day, especially if I can’t do so for a couple of firemen. And I’m still not sure if they were dead or not. That photo really got me thinking and feeling for what happened that day…

December 15, 2011   No Comments

My New York

Growing up I never really liked going to the city. I enjoyed Brooklyn but aside from hanging out with friends there wasn’t much to do. I would always hear people talking on Monday mornings that they spent their Sunday in the city. For girls the fun always seemed to be shopping in the city, but I could not care less about shopping. For the boys it was Dillon’s candy shop that allured them to the city. I always thought to myself, everyone loves the city, I must be missing something here. But I don’t think I am.

You can go shopping, see a play, go to the park, and a bunch of other things in the city. But I never really cared for that. I much rather be playing basketball, football or softball with my friends on my free time. I like open spaces which is one reason why I can’t stand the city.

So I guess my New York would be one that I try to avoid. My favorite time of the year is the summer. Obviously because of the free time but also its because I go to the jersey shore with my family. I leave Brooklyn which has some characteristics of the city, and any thoughts of going to Manhattan get thrown away. Half of this probably made no sense but I think I’ll conclude by saying that in my future I will strongly considering moving to somewhere with a lot of space and very few claustrophobic areas. Maybe then I’ll understand that living near NYC is really a luxury.

December 12, 2011   No Comments

My New York

Having been born and raised in Brooklyn, my “New York” should really be “My Brooklyn,” naturally. I never really was proud of living in New York or really understood what it would mean for others to be in my place. Once, when I was away from New York, I remember telling someone I was from New York City, and they responded in a hysterical “New York??? You are sooo lucky!!!” I was really puzzled by their response as I did not see anything special about it.

I always thought that tourists have more fun in NYC than actual New Yorkers do. I just don’t make anything of the fact that the greatest city in the world is just a train ride away. “My New York” is primarily just my neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay and a few other places in Brooklyn. I’ve had a few experiences in Manhattan, but nothing that can warrant it to be called “mine.” I don’t think that there are many who can call Manhattan “theirs,” but there are a lot who are definitely trying. I should start taking more advantage of my proximity to the city, and try and capture as much of the city as I can. It would be a shame to let such an opportunity go to waste.

December 12, 2011   1 Comment

Snapshot Day!

As I mentioned before, I went to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on October 11th for Snapshot Day. This is the picture I decided to use for my photo. I chose this photo because I think most of us think of fast-paced crowds, lights and everything urban when we think of NYC. Of course we are one of the most urbanized cities in the world, however, I think we forget to take a look at the nature we have in the city.

When I went to the Macaulay building to see all of our photographs on display, I was really impressed. I thought the way the exhibits were set up were very unique and creative. My favorite part of the exhibit was the part where the curators put the photographs in little glasses filled with water. The lights along with it truly represented the winter season in NYC. I also liked the part where the mirrors reflected the photographs. My group and I actually incorporated the mirrors into our video by looking into them and saying that NYC is you. The curators did a great job.

One thing that I would change is perhaps have the students do a smaller project. I think most of us spent so much time on our videos that we did not get to fully appreciate the exhibits. However, I thought the exhibits and the photographs really reflected the hard work of everyone part of this event.

December 11, 2011   1 Comment

The International Center of Photography/ 9-11 Exhibit

What an amazing exhibit! I could not imagine photos that spoke the full 1000 words until I entered this exhibit. Such heart-wrenching photographs filled with strong raw emotion. It was truly an experience.

As I went through the exhibit, one thing kept popping up in my mind: We should’ve visited this exhibit right after the 9/11 Memorial Visit. It complemented the memorial in every way possible. The exhibit seemed to give off a sense of time and place in between the past and present, where 9/11 has happened, but we haven’t just yet moved to the next chapter. I cannot remember the exact quote, but one of the curators and photographers had said just that, and they were so right. The sadness and pain felt through the photographs were truly overwhelming. One photograph was of a uniformed man holding back tears. It brought on such feelings inside of me. I was ready to cry right then and there. I had to force myself to move on, only to find yet another uniformed person holding back tears. This woman had been leaning on someone else (possibly her daughter? they had similar features) and it was just heart-breaking.

But I also saw the videos, oh what videos! To see a person’s belongings is to see what characterizes them, and I saw a whole bunch of personalities in those piles of rubble. In those piles of rubble, I saw among other things, a baby’s rattle, a child’s alphabet stencil, a student’s backpack, a college student’s Biology homework, a parent’s wallet-sized pictures of his/her children, a grandparent’s recent family reunion photo and so much sadness. What really broke the camel’s back, however, was the small boat in the middle of the wreckage exhibit. It was a small paper boat, not unlike the ones I am very accustomed to making. It reminded me of a recent time when, while on the bus, I saw a small child who was very bored and was annoying his mother. I put down my stuff, took out a paper, made a small paper boat, and gave it to his mother to give to him. He loved it, but he was unaware that anything was wrong. That experience helped me understand this paper boat in the middle of the exhibit. This boat resembles more than just boredom; it resembles a sort of family experience that was created in that train, and even larger, within our city. Yes, 9/11 has taken a bite out of us, but united we stand, even in the face of terrorism.


Joey Kabariti

December 4, 2011   No Comments

The Brooklyn Museum

Hey Guys,

This past visit to the Brooklyn Museum was particularly interesting. There were some exhibits which I absolutely loved, and others which I absolutely hated.

We first visited the Dinner Party, which really represented something really special for me. As a big advocate of Women’s rights, partly because of my growing with three sisters, I really appreciate when someone goes out of their way to appreciate what they have done, as the famous quote proves, “Behind every great man there is a woman.” It was also very informative. I did not recognize many of the women there, and so, when I saw Judith, the Jewish representative for Women who slaughtered Holofernes and rescued her people, I felt proud. I barely knew the story and she is part of my history, so the fact that they were hosting a dinner party to congratulate all these women on their fine accomplishments truly meant a lot to me.

And then we visited the period rooms, which were absolutely marvelous. Those rooms gave us the feel of those times, and there a hint of fear and awkwardness in each new room. We observed that there must have been nothing to do if not for work. There were no TVs, no radios, nothing to keep them from becoming bored. Their living rooms were the emptiest parts of their houses. But the fear stemmed from the darkness that lurked around each and every house that was alone for miles around them. Some of the houses were the only ones for miles on end. How could they have lived in such a distant, quiet and unsafe place? Anyone could just break into their house and kill everybody and no one would know who it was, how they did it, or even when. They could be dead for weeks before anyone would realize their absence. That point struck me the hardest. But all in all, it was an amazing experience; the rooms were absolutely delightful to visit.

And the last exhibit on the fourth floor, which resembled the Sistine Chapel in many ways, was interesting yet I could not connect to it. The art was beautiful but I could not feel an emotion broadcast. It was interesting because of its resemblance, but other than that, it was just paint on wall.

We then moved to the fifth floor, where we visited the piano and the tree, which was very cool, yet weird and eerie. I liked it because it showed that art does not have to be beautiful; it could also be scary and eerie and have a different effect, yet still be art. The fact that the piano was playing itself was also a nice trick, and added substantially to that eerie yet pleasant feeling.

And then we moved on to the Youth and Beauty Exhibit.

Unfortunately, we didn’t save the best for last. I hated it. The only thing the exhibit accomplished, in my eyes, was to make that line between pornography and nude art all the more murky. It seemed to me to be just another way to portray nude bodies, and not at all a way to portray art. Granted, it was nice to see the exhibit that we mentioned about in class, the young man pushing the wrench which turned the gear and moved the machine. That was an appealing photograph, because it portrayed the young man as a strong attractive individual, and made him seem reliable.

However, that was one of the couple of pieces of art which I enjoyed in that exhibit.

I did feel the need to continue exploring, but time waits for no one.

I do plan on returning in the near future to complete my Brooklyn Museum experience.

Joey Kabariti

November 22, 2011   2 Comments

Brooklyn Museum

During our trip to the Brooklyn Museum, I found two exhibits to have an interesting relation. Firstly, Sanford Biggers’ exhibition, “Sweet Funk—An Introspective,” contained a particularly intriguing piece. The artist had taken a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. and added sculpting to the top in order to create the profile of President Barack Obama. Then, a light was placed on the side of the structure and the silhouette of Obama was projected onto the museum wall. These two prominent figures were placed in direct relation with each other. The sculpture of Martin Luther King Jr. shows the past successes of the Civil Rights movement. The projected image of Barack Obama portrays the future of African American history in the United States. By placing these two figures in such close proximity, Biggers demonstrates the continuity of progress. This piece emphasizes the relations between two different yet potent eras in American history. The second selection that captivated me was the Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties collection. There was a section of this exhibit devoted to “modernity.” It displayed depictions of classic 1920s sceneries coupled with the progress of new and emerging technology. One particular painting showed a typical twenties kitchen table with a fruit bowl and characteristic tapestries and table settings. In addition to these items, there was a new and almost invasive invention—the telephone. These articles were shown in direct contrast to each other. The progress of technology can be seen as positive, but it can also be interpreted as intrusive. The pieces in this section focused on the movement towards modernity and the conflict between two eras. Both exhibits showed the advancement of time and how this evolution relates to different aspects of the period. Although these pieces were in separate wings of the museum, they still had reoccurring themes within both exhibitions.

November 21, 2011   No Comments