After 3 weeks, I no longer feel like a tourist and I blend in with the locals nicely. I’ve also adapted to the inconvenient lifestyle of being a New Yorker. Heavy traffic throughout the day, large crowds, and packed subway trains have become tolerable. NYC definitely isn’t a place for everyone and I personally wouldn’t want to live here permanently, but I do like the excitement and I love the freedom of expression here. I’ll explore the city some days but I spend the majority of my time in Harlem. My experiences so far in Harlem have been humbling and rewarding.
Experiencing something brings a deeper realization than just going by what people say. Living in NYC is expensive and inconvenient in my opinion. Seeing densely populated project housing on every corner, the various gentrification, and many homeless people is unsettling to me. I stay in an apartment near the intersection of 132nd St and Lennox Ave, right across from a large project housing complex. My host in the Airbnb is very polite and welcoming, and I have made myself at home. I’ve learned that areas in NYC, and even Harlem, are so meshed together that anything can happen to anyone at any time. However, living in fear is not a characteristic of Harlemites. People of various ages and ethnicities walk the streets at any time of the day, and I love the freedom that the borough breeds.