New Yorker

What does it mean to be a New Yorker? How does it feel to be one?

To me New York is the greatest place in the world. It is the place to be. Granted it is an insane place. It can bring the best and the worst out of a person. It is a place of great challenge but also a place where people help and support each other. You either love or hate New York and New York either loves or hates you. There are great differences between people who live here. You can find all the religions, skin colors, traditions and languages of the world. You can find different sexual orientations, millionaires, homeless people, intellectuals, artists and blue color worker.

There is a lot of greed and a lot of creativity. There are beautiful parts and there are terrifying ones. There is Central Park and Midtown. There is Uptown and Downtown, the West Side and the East Side, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

New York is the city of dreams. People come here from all over the world to life what they’ve been dreaming to do. Many fail, some accomplish it. But all of them can say that they have tried. For me it is a place where many illusions died. Fame and money is happiness, hard work brings success, perfectionism makes my work better and a fabulous apartment gives me the respect I deserve. Why do I not have these ideas any more? Because I was able to live them or meet people who where living them. If I had left Germany I would still believe fulfilling these desires would make me happy.

New York is one of the most capitalistic places in the world. It is also a place that is frequently visited by some of the great spiritual teachers in the world. Years ago saw Paul Lowe and he said that New York is the most difficult places in the world to transcend your ego but that like Frank Sinatra sings in  “New York, New York“, “If you can make it here you can make it anywhere”.

There is some truth to that. Sometimes I think about how it would feel to live somewhere in the countryside, have a 9-5 job and the knowledge that I always have enough money to get by. I do my job, I go home and relax and the next day I do the same thing all over again. There is nothing to achieve, no success waiting for me, nothing I have to express and I know my life will go nowhere. No blog to write, no website to update and no hunt for the perfect image. I could finally relax.

Living in New York is different I rarely sit still. There is so much to do, so many opportunities, so many images to shoot and so little time to get it all done. It is very expensive to live here, you have to keep moving, try to work things out and constantly adjust to changes.

Over all I do disagree with Paul though. I found a lot of support here in my spiritual journey. To me the city is a great teacher. It is a melting pot. The religions, skin colors, traditions languages, sexual preferences, being rich, being poor melt all into one, into being a New Yorker.

Being a New Yorker means to be of all of the above and none of them. It means that it does not matter where I come from, what color my skin is, what language I speak, what my religion is or who I prefer to sleep with. I am a human being equal to any other human being.

To me being a New Yorker is a step to let go of programming, a step to transcend the ego.

 

 

“Everything”. Manhattan/New York 34th Street and 9th Avenue 01-27-08 at 03:24 PM.

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Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

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