I hail from a middle class family in India and television was the only window to the world. I grew up watching New York, the world’s greatest city on TV. For many of us born in the 90’s in India the first sights of a foreign land was NYC. I never dreamt of leaving India and visiting another country until I was 22 years old. However, life had grand plans. I applied for my masters in US and got into one of the finest universities in the world. I landed in Pittsburgh this May. However, after coming to US I realized I had to cut my expenses I was only a poor graduate student.
A bus ticket to and fro from Pittsburgh to New York cost $120-140, which was nearly a month’s living expense, and staying even at the cheapest hotels meant shelling out at least $100 more. I could not clearly afford the journey or the stay.
Every time my friends suggested let us go to New York! I would count the dollar bills that I saved for the journey. After few months in US, I could only save $106. New York was so near yet so far. One fine day my university arranged for career fair at NYC, at an amazingly subsidized bus ticket price of $40 (back and forth)… That is perhaps the best $40 dollars I have spent so far.
I got down in Midtown Manhattan. After the career fair, with $56 in hand I started exploring NYC. I walked to the Times Square. The public library. Then to the Empire state building. (It cost me $32 to get to the 86th floor) I took few pictures and walked to Central park.. From there it took me $3 to get to Wall Street via the subway. I saw the Wall street bull, walked to the battery park, statue of liberty (A kind gentleman gave me the ticket for free), payed homage at the 9/11 center and walked to Brooklyn bridge. From Brooklyn bridge (We in India call this the GODZILLA bridge. Remember the movie ? godzilla was trapped and killed here 😛 Child hood memories ) I took the subway to grand central, it cost me another $3…It was 6 pm and I had to catch the bus back home… I was still left with $4 🙂
I fell in love with the city and its people the first time I saw it, walking around the streets looking at the vastness and grandeur.. i realized what amazing things we as a species can build…. I will come back to NYC again soon once I get a job 🙂 Love you all. And see you again New York.
Originally Posted by this site’s author also featured on “Humans of New York face book page”
Written on 24th Oct 2015