Making it in New York

15 05 2009

“it’s not what you know, it’s about who you know,” a common term that might be under looked, but it speaks a great volume. There are many elements to being successful in the city of New York, and one of them is social skills.

There is a wide range of social skills that one can have to make it in New York. Beforehand, there are characteristics one must have to even be considered a “new Yorker.” Majority of the New York residents have and still travel via public transportation. As to the residents of long island who travel mostly by their personal automobiles. We have become so used to taking the trains into the city that we reject the idea of driving into the city.

Tolerance is another big key factor of making it in New York. We already inhabited the patience needed to squeeze onto the trains during rush hours and morning rushes. Other than the public transportation, patience while driving also takes place. The “bad drivers” and “slow drivers” swarm the highways and streets of New York. It is well expected that this will cause tempers to rise. We learn to tolerate it and keep our cool when it comes to them.

Now to the bigger picture; who you should know. Although you might graduate out of Harvard law school with a 4.0 GPA, you can still be lost in the world of business. Knowing the right people can help you in the long run. Golfing is a great way to meet these highly respected business people. People such as Donald Trump swing their iron on the golf course. If you’re good enough, the internship “hook-ups” begin to approach you.

We, the citizens of New York, all make it in New York because we all use the “melting pot” idea. We are all able to brainstorm our different ideas and put them into one. The melting pot is an analogy for the way mixed societies become more uniform, in which the ingredients in the pot are combined to develop a multi-ethnic society. For example, there are many variations of religion in New York. In other states, people might discriminate against different religions, but here in New York, we accept ones belief and don’t make a big deal out of it.

Expanding more on the idea of the melting pot, we also come to an agreement with fashion. There has become a wider range of fashion in New York in the present day. Designers are leaching off people’s cultures and their styles to create clothes made for everyone. You now see people from different races wearing different types of clothing. Abercrombie and Fitch has become one style of fashion that has been spread throughout New York. It isn’t worn by the stereotypical white person anymore. It is being worn by almost every different culture out there.

Social diversity is what keeps this economy so successful. Without different races and cultures wandering the streets, you would see the same people every day. The minds would become narrower when you do see someone who is socially diverse. Through the diversity, we are able to understand and accept different people more easily. With diversity occurring, there are more ideas thrown into the melting pot to create this better society. And with those better ideas, comes methods of becoming successful in New York.

Hard workers are also recognized in the city. From small business such as street vendors, to the greater extent such as lawyers and such, the recognition of hard work does come out into the light. When someone mentions 53rd and 6th street, they automatically refer to the halal stand that blew New Yorkers away with their delicious food. Their hard work paid off and now produces lines of customers that go around the city blocks.

Success doesn’t come easily. You don’t have to be a big shot entrepreneur to make it in New York. Sometimes it just takes some hard work and dedication, social skills, and diversity to make it to the top of the chain.

Seth Godin;in a novice’s point of view.

11 05 2009

The world is filled with people who have expert opinions on certain topics. Seth Godin attacks an interest without saying much. Although he is one of the few who’s blog posts contain the least amount of words, they speak massively. Almost all of the elements of being a top-of-the-line blogger will be found on Godin’s page.(

The style of writing on Godin’s blog isn’t much out of the ordinary. He doesn’t try to come off sounding like an expert on his topics. He basically hits the main idea directly without beating around the bush. When he speaks upon “What to do with people who aren’t going to go away quietly,” each paragraph states an issue, and directly approaches it. When he wrote “Don’t try to talk a vegan into eating the chicken-fried steak just because the chef will yell at you if you ask for one more plate of steamed vegetables,” He told us directly from the first sentence to not try and change something when it obviously won’t change.

The basic layout of the blog itself is very plain, but still catches the eye of the other bloggers. With a plain white background, the yellow color scheme definitely keeps you focused on his page. It was smart of him not to mix in many more colors because the attention of the reader is lost and they can only focus on the visual aspects, rather than the aspects put in text.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and thoughts on things. Some readers might be against what Godin has to say, and some might support and understand his meanings on ideas. For example, in his post on “two halves of the value fraction,” he talks about how “people actually care more about value.” Some people believe that value does matter more than the price of a good, some think the total opposite. As much as this sounds like total facts and truth to one, on the other hand, it can conflict with an opinion of another with a total different perspective.

It is pretty simple to get in contact with Seth. A quick comment on a post, or subscribing to his page, even “clicking on his head” in the main page, will get you connected with the blogger one way or another. He also created other public ways of reaching out to people by using squidoo, and recommending books on the side of his page. Although he might not be able to communicate personally, through the books, it’ll give you the idea of what he was speaking of.

And with the books, it becomes a helpful source of information. His idea of value and stalling has a great relation with my practical views on such topics. And with such understanding, to expand it, the books recommended become a stepping stone into a learning session. His page is pretty clear and simple. There aren’t any secret buttons or hidden messages that he keeps from us. Everything is out there for the public to use and his willingness to reach out is stupendous.

Fixing New york city one flaw at a time.

5 05 2009

although it may have been some people’s dream to live in the city, some of the not so glorious aspects show. Through the sleepness nights of drunkards wandering the streets through insomnia, there is alot of New York City that needs to be “repaired.”

to pinpoint on just one flaw of the city is tough. but the one flaw that does catch my eyes is the massive amounts of commuters pushing and shoving to get onto the trains. As the trains that enter the city slow down into the station, platforms filled with people in suits start shoving to take a small square foot of space in the train.

every morning, i take either the R,F,V, or the E train. keeping in mind that all these trains head to or near one of the busiest avenues of the city; Lexington ave. every morning, its hard to keep my composure from being squished onto the door of the train.

in the long term, the MTA did mention creating more lines that go to lexington avenue to prevent overcrowding. this would be very efficient to the commuters and the travel because you would be able to keep your cool since there isn’t much pushing and shoving to get on the train.

the monument we call “grand central terminal”

1 05 2009

Grand Central Terminal, as a “monumental” structure, or in a more accurate sense, a “structural” monument, of New York City’s significant growth and transformation, delivers quite a compelling message through its consistent existence and ever-improving change in design. With Manhattan’s industrial railroad tradition rooting from numerous “competing” and unorganized railroad lines, what eventually resulted in the creation of today’s famous Grand Central Terminal, at first began with the temporary and make-shift stations of the many “Grand Central’s” preceding the final “Terminal” as we know it to be now. The many Manhattan lines soon enough conglomerated into a Grand Central Depot, then becoming a Grand Central Station, then a Grand Central Terminal (of 1913), and then finally a Grand Central Terminal refurbished and rejuvenated in 1983.

Thus as can be observed from the many slightly different “versions” of Grand Central Terminal (which existed before the final), it can be justly concluded that the New York City icon, as a monument, contains an argument in that errors, failures, disappointments, and destruction may all play an essential role in the eventually positive change and beneficial shaping of an unexpected masterpiece (Grand Central Terminal of the 21st century). It is a lasting example that an honored and well-recognized monument such as itself need not be “unchanging” or original from the start, but instead may be a product of a few, or many failed and misunderstood projects preceding it. Furthermore, the persistence and longevity found in such a lasting architectural feat appropriately matches and thus reflects the consistent and similarly challenging growth of its surrounding city, Manhattan.

Long before the development of any “Grand Central”, railroad lines and stations such as The New York and Harlem Railroad, The New York and New Haven Railroad, and the Hudson River Railroad, all of which were independently competing companies, existed throughout the city area of New York. As a result of personal ambitions, as well as for the sake of convenience, efficiency, and improvement of New York City railroad transportation, “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt merged two notable existing railroad lines, the Hudson River Railroad and the New York Central Railroad, in 1864, and soon after began the development of Grand Central Depot, the “first Grand Central” (Grand Central Terminal). Opening in 1871, Grand Central Depot proved its purpose to be that of a symbol of progress, conglomeration, and improvement for the railroad line system throughout the New York City area. It’s designer, John B. Snook, had no intentions of making any distinctive statements with such a structure, for its argument seemed to be that of simply practicality; keeping up with and thus indirectly reflecting the technological as well as infrastructural advancements of its city.

It was such humble yet practical beginnings that allowed for Grand Central Depot to undergo such loose and constant change. Shortly after its construction, the Depot underwent additional changes and “improvements” by architects Bradford Lee Gilbert and Samuel Huckel, Jr. Such additional work on the Depot could have been considered quite unexpected by many city-residents of the time, since such a station was rarely in regular and habitual use (Grand Central Terminal). Thus when a new and improved Grand Central Station was constructed in replacement of the previous Grand Central Depot, its underlying argument in its existence strongly appeared to be that of a somewhat devoted or consistent “structural attitude’ towards the increasingly better recognized/respected train station. The new Grand Central Station as a structure in itself held no unique purpose or meaning as a rail-line station, for its construction was most clearly a natural result of the continual growth and modernization of its New York City. Thus once again, while keeping with the persistent nature of refusing to neglect and possibly demolish an at once “obsolete” structure, (citation), as well as portraying the parallel relationship between the stations development and its surrounding city’s growth, the “Grand Central” station was one step closer to the “Grand Central Terminal” as it is known today.

With the at first seemingly successful refurbishment of Grand Central Depot to Grand Central Station, the soon-to-be monumental station was faring somewhat well. However as it is with all rapid technological changes and adjustments, technical/mechanical errors were soon to be found. On January 8th, 1902, a large accident occurred within the station in which seventeen people were killed and thirty-eight injured. Following such an accident, the station experienced several other devastating accidents, most of them pertaining to setbacks of the steam locomotive. Thus to keep in touch with the ever-rapidly modernizing city and thus nation, the station had plans made to undergo another and this time most major improved development; in this case for the more specific and acute purpose of allowing electric trains to run through the station. Grand Central Terminal, as the new station was thus called, had its construction plans headed by chief engineer William J. Wilgus and designed by architectural team Warren and Wetmore (Grand Central Terminal). Similar to the prior two Grand Central stations, this station’s architectural design, and more-so its architects, had no specific or monumental intentions in designing and creating such a structure.

Each successive design seemed to be rooted directly from business-related and thus uncreative/unsentimental reasons. It was such a weak direct argument found by such architects that allowed for the overall growth of a strong yet somewhat vague underlying argument. Each station lacked any “personal” or more specifically, “argument-al” meaning in its existence. For with the creation of the final Grand Central Terminal, despite the minor necessary excuses of an electric railroad line, any further architectural finishes and additions were conducted mainly out of decoration, business, and leisure. Hotels such as the Biltmore and Commodore as well as office buildings such as the Graybar and Chrysler, all sprung up surrounding the station. The stations significance and monumental aura grew more-so from its erratic past rather than its stable future. While it did experience a never before felt sense of necessity by the people of New York City, it too like its predecessor encountered a period of decline and thus failure. For with such a weak and indirect existential meaning of significance, Grand Central’s ability to remain as one consistently growing solid structure was inhibited. In order to remain a part of the city’s growing body, it had to ritually undergo one demolishment and refurbishment after another.

Prior to the plans for Grand Central Terminal’s demolishment, the station was being used as an infrastructure to display numerous billboards and other business-centric appliances. With a rapidly growing list of inner-maintenance problems such as leaks, chips, and rusting, the station seemed near its end. Ironically however, it was at this lowest-point where the Terminal was recognized as a landmark by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission; and was thus protected from destruction by law. Such an action thus further follows the argument of Grand Central’s monumental significance; its connection, parallelism (in growth), and reflection, of the surrounding city in which it finds it self in. Fortunately for the declining building, Metro-North gained control of the Terminal in 1983, and began the last final major reconstruction of New York’s persistently surviving railroad station. The high-expense plan gave Grand Central Terminal the appearance, feeling, and occupation that it has today. With the Metropolitan Transportation Authority leasing the Terminal in a 110-year deal, the station at last finally seemed to fall into a period of secured stability. While this last feat in architectural as well as structural rejuvenation, like the other prior attempts, lacked much significance in its exact precise purpose, the important fact to note is that the scheme was completed successfully, thus allowing for the structure to gain and maintain a monumental argument of a parallel growth to the city, and a lasting consistent growth to itself.

The structure in and of it self holds no actual argument and meaning – neither do the architects who accepted the requests for its design – however it is this very lacking that allows for an argument to be made and a meaning to be found: that a monument’s statement need not be intentional or direct in any way; as shown by Grand Central Terminal’s continual ups and downs, the argument of a monument may be most effectively developed without intention but instead naturally as a result of the overall net result of its endurance.

One-of-a-kind New York

21 04 2009

We are a limited edition baseball card when it comes to diversity. What makes our city so unorthodox from other cities is the creativeness of our form of music and entertainment. We do have Broadway, operas and theatres, there’s one thing that stands out the most; live music from the street performers.

Throughout the underground passageways through the cities, through the ground level of time square, you will inevitably hear music coming from down the train car or down the block. You never encounter the same mariachi band twice. The various selections of musical tracks that are offered right before our eyes grab the commuter’s attention.

From mariachi bands, to gospel singing acappellas, New York City has it all. Walk down the pathway in grand central station from the 6 train down to the 7. You will encounter jazz musicians, violinists, drummers, and a cornucopia of talent that flutters the station.

Who could forget about the infamous naked cowboy? Prancing along Times Square in his white underwear and his cowboy hat and boots, accompanied by his fender guitar, he plays for the pedestrians that walk by. Not only a musician, but he has become a tourist attraction for the newly and the residents of New York City.

Street performances in the city aren’t all musical talents. Maybe to the feeble minded citizens it is, but when you’ve adapted to the lifestyle of a New Yorker, you see the broader vision. Whether it’s inside trains going at high speeds, or outside corporate buildings, you will witness the great performance of street dancers. The street acts that look life threatening to us, but feel like a warm up to the actual performers catch the attention of people everywhere. These performers risk their lives with the death defying tricks just to make a quick buck.

Aside from musical and dancing talent, another branch of talent is awakened. Very famous in the subway walkways, the “frozen” statues have become an eye catcher underground. They stand isolated and motionless for up to ridiculous amounts of time, but when the money drops into the bucket placed in front of them, the performance starts. Only in motion for a brief moment, the so called statues become motionless once again unless the money is drawn in.

Have you ever walked down the street and thought you saw a hole on the ground, but realized there wasn’t one in the first place? Well, the painters who create magnificent forms of art on the city floors can create that illusion. Mind blowing the crowd that surrounds the hardworking artist, the detailed work makes the illusion look so real. Cartoon artists are always waiting for tourists to come and get their picture drawn.

Regardless if we want to see a performance or not, there is always one happening around you. No other city in the states contains a fraction of the amount of performers we contain in New York. From talentless, to professional status performances, New York City will always be the limited version out of all the other cities

a limited edition city

3 04 2009

Throughout the underground passageways through the cities, through the ground level of time square, you will inevitably hear music coming from down the train car or down the block. You never encounter the same mariachi band twice. The various selections of musical tracks that are offered right before our eyes grab the commuter’s attention.

in a trance

29 03 2009

the show in washington square park

17 03 2009

You never know what to expect when you take a trip through the city. There’s always something going on, year round. Every angle you turn to is a new adventure to unveil through your journey of travel. New York City is named “the city that never sleeps” for a reason. With all the commodities going on, how is it possible to be tired and fatigued?
I see the bright, orb-like sun shining down on me as I exit the 23rd street train station. Hectic is a great word to describe the exiting of the station. Pedestrians are always rushing to get on the train while others rush to exit to head to work and/or school. After I reach the ground level, an aroma of hazelnut passes by my nose. The breakfast stand adjacent from the station is packed with a line of commuters rushing to grab a bite to eat before their own adventures in the city.
I escape from the jungle of corporate workers ravaging for their morning dose of donuts and coffee. Although hungry from the delicious aroma from the breakfast cart, I continue journeying across the street and onto Washington Square Park.
A pathway is met as I enter the beautiful arena filled with trees, and beautiful scenery. Galloping towards me are the house pets that are in need of a morning walk. From big to petite, the dogs would walk vigorously through the park dragging their owners as exercise.

As the bright sky inverts into darkness, the arena’s appearance changes. The pets disappear, and the nocturnal come merging out from every point of view. During the day, the people are holding leashes, but at night, majority of them are holding hands and enjoying nightlife and the sky view. Not only is the delicious French fries and hamburger aroma fill the dark skies, but also the love of the people fill the air.
The entrance to the underground dungeon becomes vacant and hollow. Wind gushes towards my face as I take my steps down to the underground. The empty station which reminds me of the subway scene from “the matrix” keeps me in suspense. As I stand on the ledge of the platform, “WOOSH.” A train flies by with a gust of wind pushing me back as it comes to a stop to board the passengers.
The subway is filled with a diverse group of people all achieving the same goal; getting home. When I enter the subway car and look for a vacant seat, I notice a lot more variety in people. I never see the same person twice. Although we don’t know each other, we all do the same thing, and that is to sit away from the homeless. The scent of unwashed clothes and self smothers the semi-packed train car with people holding their noses in an incognito fashion.
Although I go through a uniform routine every morning, what I witness and encounter is always a mystery. Variety is one of the greater values we have in New York City. We are contained of a cornucopia of languages, skin color, culture, and style. We are considered “the city that never sleeps” for a reason; there’s just too much to look at and experience in one day to sleep.

Hello world!

11 02 2009

oh the reminiscence and nostalgia of blogging. bringing me back to the xanga days where i spent hours editing and decorating it to receive “e-props.”

i never thought i’d be back into the blogging regime again.

But hey, its time to take this blogging to another level. time to meet a cornucopia of fellow bloggers who have the same interest as me and make friends with them.

oh, and speaking of friends, come to our next home game