IN PHOTOS: New York, New York!

As John Lennon once said about NYC, “It might be dying, and there might be a lot of dirt in the air you breathe, but this is where it’s happening.”


Ophelia Lu

A view at downtown Manhattan near dusk, as photographed on March 16, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Ophelia Lu)

Ophelia Lu, Staff Photographer

I was five years old when I first went to NYC. The cityscape didn’t exactly impress me at that age. I remember it being full of unpleasant sensory inputs: it was freezing cold, it smelled awful, it was crowded and I saw a few of the hundreds of rats that live in the subway. The city faded from my mind for many years, and it wasn’t until recently that I had the idea of revisiting it for spring break. This past week, I arrived at LaGuardia with a fresh pair of eyes, ready for the city to make a new impression on me. 

I still approached the city in a touristy way. On the first day, I boarded the Statue Cruise for a tour around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The cruise departed from the Statue Cruise New Jersey Station, where a quaint, abandoned train station stood nearby on the shore. The trains that had transported hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the city rested peacefully like relics of the past. 

After the cruise concluded, I disembarked at the Statue Cruise Manhattan Station, eager to explore the bustling inner city. Everywhere I looked, people rushed about their daily lives with a palpable sense of urgency. I watched as throngs of people passed me by, each with their own unique destination and purpose. The energy of the city was contagious, and I found myself swept up in the frenzy of activity as I captured these moments with my lens. 

Despite the bustling atmosphere that permeated the city, there was an unmistakable sense of peace that fills the streets in the evening. As the sun shone down from a vibrant blue sky, the frenetic pace of life slowed down, imbuing the city with a rare but alluring sense of calm. Amidst the cacophony of honking horns and bustling crowds, I found myself drawn to the soothing stillness that emanated from the city. 

New York City is a kaleidoscope of colors. Every street corner pulses with a different energy, and walking through them, it is impossible not to feel a sense of excitement and possibility. It has a unique beauty that is hard to replicate. It’s a place where you can feel alone, yet connected to everything at the same time. The vibrancy and liveliness of the metropolis have undoubtedly changed my old impression of it. New York City is not just a city; it’s a living, breathing organism that draws people in and doesn’t easily let go.