The Fordham Ram

My Ever-Changing Relationship With New York City


I have always been drawn to New York City. Although I did not grow up here, I spent much of my childhood reading books and watching movies set in the city. The way I perceived the city was based on films like “Night at the Museum” and “Elf.” There was something about seeing pictures of that skyline with its tremendously tall buildings that captured my imagination. The island of Manhattan is the opposite of where I grew up. My hometown of Dover, Mass., is far removed from the urban hustle and bustle. Instead of being surrounded by skyscrapers, my house was surrounded by big yards, long windy roads and a lot of trees. 

My interest in the place only grew after my first visit. I still remember driving down to New York and feeling so excited. When we finally arrived, we visited all the touristy spots. We went to Times Square, where my sister and I rode the Toys R Us Ferris Wheel. The next day we went to the top of the Empire State Building, and I finally saw the famous skyline with my own eyes. By the end of our short trip, as we drove away on the Henry Hudson Parkway, I knew that I wanted to visit again soon. As I got older and returned, we went to more destinations in the city, like the Met and High Line. We always went to the touristy spots and never left the Manhattan area. Fundamentally, the lens through which I was viewing New York was as a tourist.

When I started applying to colleges during my senior year of high school, I was drawn to Fordham because it was in New York City. All the mail and emails I got from the school were plastered with people in Fordham shirts walking through Central Park or sitting in front of Grand Central Station. The marketing worked because when it came time to decide on a college, I picked Fordham. At the start of my freshman year, the lens I viewed the city was still through the eyes of a tourist. The first place I went to visit with friends was Times Square. However, the more time I spent at Fordham, the more I learned about the city. Learning led to me exploring, and soon my relationship with the city changed.  

I don’t think there was a certain moment when my relationship with the city changed into what it is now. But I know that one component of that change was the accumulation of memories that I have made throughout the city. As a tourist, you walk around a place and it’s a blank slate. When you’ve lived somewhere for a while, that restaurant you used to walk by without thinking now holds the memory of a dinner with friends. A bench in Central Park that once blended in with the rest now sticks out because you once sat there while reading a good book. You now get chills at a certain street corner because that’s where you almost got run over by one of those fast scooters food delivery people always seem to drive. For me, these experiences have transformed New York from a destination that I would visit into a city that is alive with memories. It’s these experiences scattered throughout the city that made my relationship with the city change from a touristy one to a personal one.

What this experience has taught me is that our relationships with a place are always changing. In fact, leaving Dover for college changed my relationship with that place as well. The things that used to annoy me, like the number of trees, are now things I miss. My relationship with New York is not done evolving. I am confident it will change. However, I have no clue how it will change. Maybe I will grow to love the city even more and want to stay after graduation. It’s also possible that I may get tired of the hustle and bustle and want to live somewhere quieter. Until then, I will continue to enjoy my college experience and hopefully continue learning and exploring New York.

Evan McManus, FCRH ’25, is a political science major from Dover, Mass.

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Evan McManus, Editorial Director

Evan McManus is a junior from Dover, Mass., majoring in political science and minoring in communications. As a sophomore, he started writing for The Fordham...

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    Grace GalbreathSep 26, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    Proud of you Evan!

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My Ever-Changing Relationship With New York City