Autobiographical Essay Final Draft
New York State of Mind
It seems as if it was so long ago that I was carelessly wandering down Times Square. The city surprisingly felt so welcoming compared to the warm valleys of California. New York calls to me, and when I am there, I feel as if I am home.
I can remember the anxious feelings creeping through my body as I boarded the plane for the first time. For those who know me well, it is no surprise that I had over packed. I heaved as I struggled to carry my bags into the lobby of the airport, and even upon boarding, I had two carry on bags to attend to. When it was finally time to sit and relax, I distinctly took the seat next to the window so I could watch as the plane floated above and beyond the clouds. I sat impatiently as the words of the flight attendant filled my ears. The sentences blurred together and had no meaning to me. My mind was already in New York City.
As we landed, my stomach began practicing backflips. I couldn’t believe I was finally in New York. It was a long taxi ride to my mother and I’s hotel, which was in Manhattan, on Times Square. My eyes bounced from building to building as we drove through the bustling streets. The stores were clumped together on every block and the pedestrians were just as aggressive as the drivers. I was now certain that I was no longer in California.
We arrived at the Marriott Marquee, and I was so excited. I leaped from the car to let Manhattan know I had made it. I contained my urge to run and skip throughout the streets. My mom might have had a heart attack. Instead, I waited until after we checked in and got situated in our hotel room. As soon as my mom and I were ready to hit the town, we rode the elevator down to the first floor and went outside to explore.
By this time, darkness began to fall. Though, it is never really dark in Times Square. A bitter chill took me by surprise. I pulled my coat around me tightly and immediately jammed the gloves I had nestled in my pocket onto my hands. We walked out from under the hotel’s awning and into the street, gazing at all the glorious lights. The sharp smell of cigarettes tickled my nose and as a reflex, I started to cough. I looked to my right and I saw one of the sewers had smoke lifting from it. I stared in disbelief and I remember wondering what was going on down there. I still couldn’t tell you to this day.
Side by side, my mom and I made our way through the streets. We wound up in some of my favorite stores that could be found in any mall back in California. But for some reason, they were much more interesting to visit while in the heart of New York. After an hour or so of shopping, I thought it would be fun to search for Rockefeller Center. As we were walking, I attempted to look as much like a New Yorker as possible; I mimicked their gait, I kept my hands in my pockets, and I covered half of my face with my scarf. No one will think I’m a tourist, I thought to myself. As this thought drifted through my mind, I turned to look at my mom, who couldn’t have looked more like one. She gripped a map firmly, even though the wind was tempting to rip it from her hands, she had her hair up in a clip, and she was wearing the most ridiculous Sketchers shoes. She even stopped to ask for directions. I began to soak in embarrassment. I kept my head down and watched the sidewalk for the rest of the way.
Finally, we reached Rockefeller Center. The wind cracked the flags that stood around the ice skating rink down below while popular music pumped through a bad quality sound system. I stood over the ice rink to watch the skaters and smiled at how happy everyone looked. I shifted my eyes on a beautiful, glowing Christmas tree. It was massive! I watched in awe as it twinkled in the night. I pointed to the tree so my mom could be as amazed as I was, but her eyes were already consumed by it. Together, we gathered around the tree with a few others and basked in its