Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sounds of the City
Walking around New York City (www.nycvisit.com) At almost any hour it seems the streets are filled with people rushing along. At Times Square (www.timessquarenyc.org) it’s a crush of bodies, cars and busses going in every direction. Observing the activity it’s almost impossible to distinguish tourists from residents. Black coats, colorful scarves, denim for all ages, short skirts, knee high boots, t-shirts and sneakers. Old and young. Men and women. Everyone dressed in a similar fashion.
But the sounds of the street reveal that this city’s streets are filled with a varied, global population. Tourists or residents? Unknown. But what you discover is that the languages spoken vary more than the wardrobes. As you walk its likely you’ll catch a few words in French, Italian or Spanish. Hear English in some of it’s many forms: Accents of New York, Southern US, British and Irish. Add to these familiar sounds greetings and conversations in languages unknown to the listener. A cornucopia of sounds that blend with the shouts of vendors, music and honking cars. These are the sounds of a global, connected, energetic city reminding us that we live in a time when the people of the world come together in many ways and places.