Since being back home, I’ve met up with some old friends and revisited some old places.
One such place is SoHo, or South of Houston St, a booming shopping and art district in lower Manhattan. Honestly, I’ve become pretty disenchanted with the store offerings at SoHo (and consumerism as a whole), so I’m more interested in finding places to take fancy photographs. So far, the hunt is still on.
Day time activities aside, my favorite thing to do in the city is walking around at night. I absolutely love the night lights of New York, and although it means I grew up never seeing a star in the night sky, I still would not have traded it for the world. Luckily for me, I got friends who are more than glad to indulge me in some nighttime city exploring.
Our original plan was to go watch one of our friends get a tattoo – but he got the tattoo without me! So we rearranged our itinerary, and settled for walking around our old high school neighborhood instead.
I finally got the chance to visit The Oculus, the main building of the World Trade Center transportation hub. A friend I was with said it best when he described it as a Venus fly trap from far away. A beautiful Venus fly trap, but a Venus fly trap nonetheless.
The structure was designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish neofuturistic architect (think the late great Zaha Hadid). If I am being honest, I think the architecture on the outside is eye-catching, but doesn’t necessarily belong. The interior, however, is absolutely breathtaking with its clean white lines and futuristic feel.
Lastly, I rounded the last few days off with a belated holiday party with another old group of friends. This group of friends is very special to me—they are people I’ve grown up with. We’ve known each other for ages, and it is honestly always such a joy to round the year off with them.
The end of the year is always a time for reminiscing. I love catching up with old friends to share stories about our college lives, which for the time being seem like a distant fairytale.
That’s the thing about college, especially when you go to a college so far away. Any break or return home feels more like a vacation or an escape from reality. It is a weird feeling, especially when you think about how this very same place used to be such a big part of our lives, and now we’re completely focused on a different place.
But that’s life, right? You complete one chapter and you move on, but you really don’t think about how far you’ve come until you take a step back and revisit all the chapters you’ve already written.
Until next time! Happy New Year’s (soon)! I’d have a toast to that. 😉
Benjamin Kabak over at CityLabs @TheAtlantic wrote an interesting critique of the shortcomings of Calatrava’s design, specifically the sacrificing of function for form. It can be read here.