By Nathan Davis:
Today, we continued our discussion on the American Dream as we traveled through many different parts of New York City. We started off in the streets of Harlem and discussed the history of bebop jazz as well as Langston Hughes, a famous Harlem Renaissance writer. As I walked through Harlem, I was surprised with how much gentrification occurred following Bill Clinton putting his office in Harlem. Harlem is becoming cleaner and more modern however, the culture of Harlem is slowly disappearing.
After Harlem, we had some great New York pizza for lunch and made our way down to Central Park. We relaxed there for an hour then headed to NOLITA – north of little Italy. I was shocked when we arrived as it seemed like there was little Italian culture in the area. It was so gentrified that it just looked like any other part of the city.
After that, we traveled to Chinatown and the heart of little Italy. It was fascinating to walk through the streets in Chinatown because it was the closest I’ve seen to what China might be like. There were food stores everywhere, and smells that seemed so foreign. What was even cooler was how close Chinatown was to little Italy. The two cultures were literally across the street. We then had free time on canal street where we bargained with shopkeepers for fake glasses and cologne. This part of the day was particularly fun because it gave us time to talk to the locals.
After a long and hot day in the city, we finally made it to the village where many met up with their parents for the night. After four weeks on the road, it was nice to meet up with family in person to catch up and talk about our trip.