By Buyana Ulzii (Mongolia)
One breezy Saturday morning, I took my family sight-seeing. We started walking uptown from the Flatiron on 23rd Street. Our heads were tilted towards the sky all the time, eyes fixed on the details of the exteriors and the facades. The Flatiron building seemed more beautiful than ever. With all its glamour, it looked as if it were an elegant lady in her fine dress. I wondered if I had ever enjoyed so much the concrete buildings, glass skyscrapers, and old churches in New York City? It was a complete joy when the eyes of appreciation were opened. I couldn’t help thinking about my conversation partner at ICNY, Sharron Davis, who first advised such a special tour of beautiful structures in the city. She was really right.
We passed by the Empire State Building, a majestic structure which stands tall with the dreams and hard labor of early 20th century firmly built into it. It felt as if we could hear the deep voices of engineers and smell the bitter sweat of workers in the air. Once the tallest building in the world, it is still the major attraction in the city. When we entered the Grand Central Terminal on 42nd street, we were welcomed by an immense hall decorated with golden chandeliers and a starry sky with its beautiful constellations. How lucky are New Yorkers who can travel in and out of the “galactic hub of the universe.”
Then we continued uptown, strolling along 5th Avenue. Cute little figurines on the facades, subtle ornaments of the windows, and lovely door handles…all looked charming. The statue Atlas in front of the Rockefeller Center looked grandiose, especially so when you picture Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” My father read the novel in Mongolian and told the story back in Mongolia. Who could have guessed we would stand in front of the statue that seemed to bring back all the past memories and fantasies we speculated about while hearing the story. Whether the statue is linked with the novel or not the bronze man truly represents the individual vigor and struggles, shouldering a whole world above him.
Then we drifted in the mystical air inside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for a while, riveted by its interior decorations. Our little journey ended perfectly with watching the sunset glimmering over the city from the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck.
What a beautiful day to spend in the city!