Throughout this trip we’ve tried to hit every region of the country so far in our quest to document the universal themes and characteristics that are truly American. These regions don’t always fall within one state or city, but rather can spread across county lines, state borders, and even time zones. However, New York City — a mere 300 square miles populated by more than 8 million people — is a region of its own. Never have we seen, on this trip or in our lives, a sight like that city. Nothing can compare. There’s more people there than there are in entire other states. Where they were from and where they were going was impossible to tell. But seeing all those people hustling and bustling, running around, talking on phones and shouting for cabs, was as awe-inspiring as the mountains and valleys we’ve seen thus far.
Then you realize you’re just one of those many people, standing on the streets and getting caught up in the crowds. It’s an ego-losing experience. You’re just another rat in the maze, insignificant and small. But in New York that’s not such a bad thing. For in that maze, dreams are made. In so many ways, you can see the top from New York. The ladders are long and the work is hard, but you can go right to the source there. Business, go to Wall Street. Fashion, Fifth Avenue. Media, New York Times. Entertainment, anywhere. If you want to make it, then New York is the place for you.
But it’s all a little too overwhelming. Was they’re any organization to it? Was anyone in charge? Trying to film this spectacle was a bit daunting. We had to fight the urge to just grab someone and shout “Where are you going?” No one seemed to ever stand still or stop to talk. Despite all the people, it was easy to feel alone. It’s neither strictly a bad or good thing, but the endless ambition and movement that was New York was truly one of a kind. New York felt like a whirlpool for the world, where everyone goes to make it, but where no one decides who does. One America out of the many we’ve seen, New York seems like both the most and least American place we’ve seen yet.