Silent Manhattan
Start writing a post

Silent Manhattan

An exploration of my love for New York City.

Silent Manhattan
Nikki Link

A sigh escaped my lips as I entered the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The artificially cool air inside the large glass and steel building was a welcome relief. The heat that early Saturday afternoon was heavy, and pressed the city around me into my skin. As I rode the escalator up to the waiting area, I watched as those moments evaporated into the past. The atmosphere of Little Italy infected with color. Mott street in Chinatown choked with people admiring classic cars. The zoo-like gaze of tourists watching people sleep in the crannies of financial institutions on Wall street. All the while, I struggled to hear my own thoughts above the Manhattan din.

As a crowd of people formed near the boarding area, I melted into them and became lost in a swirl of languages that were not my own. Once we boarded the shockingly orange ferry, commuters fell into the rows of faded green and blue plastic seats. Tourists poised with cameras and wide-eyed children clung to the railing. Notebook in hand, I joined them.

The jarring squeak of the ferry rubbing against the dock filled the air. Flecks of blue and white paint flurried from the railing as I drummed away with impatient fingers. Five blasts from the boat’s foghorn eventually signaled our departure.

From my perch, I watched as the water, more gray in color than blue, rolled delicately away from the hull, only to disappear once again into the depths. Seagulls high overhead were merely more than shadows framed in white. Over-sized barges and a sole schooner ripped through the harbor. A pair of jet skis played in our wake. In the distance was the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Beyond it, the rest of the world.

In the moments when my vision wasn’t obscured by tendrils of my blond hair possessed by the wind, I watched Manhattan grow hazy. From the ferry, the city seemed eerily silent. No jackhammers. No sirens. No horns. No drone of millions of conversations. Just miles of lifeless buildings marching towards the water.

I rarely meet silent Manhattan. It’s a Manhattan seen from airplane windows, and in old photos growing yellow in the attic. It’s the Manhattan that exists somewhere between sleep and consciousness. Silent Manhattan is a place that barely exists.

I’m guilty of saying I didn’t know why I loved this place. Maybe my brief encounters with this city’s hidden silence is part of the answer. It shouldn’t be there, yet, it makes itself known just the same. The sticky, salty air did nothing but drive this notion deeper into my skin.

More often than I’d like to admit, the noise becomes too much. It suffocates my thoughts, rattles my bones, and makes me search for the love all over again.

Yet, on the ferry, watching the uneven horizon fade into the haze, I saw Manhattan as I did for the first time; a mythical place on the cusp of quiet potential. A place more imagined than real. Then, I felt the familiar tug in my heart and I knew that all was well.

Sometimes, to know why you love this city, you have to leave it behind.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Rebecca Alvarez

Rebecca Alvarez is many things: founder, sexologist, CEO, mentor, and more — as a Latina businesswoman, each of her endeavors is grounded in the strong principles of inclusivity and diversity, especially in sexual health and wellness. Bloomi is the product of her all of her shared passions, and with it she has fostered a community of like-minded, passionate women.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is not a consistent standard for health education in the United States. There are a lot of variables that go into this — what state a student lives in, whether they go to a public or private school, and the district's funding and priorities. These variables can be argued for any subject, not just health class. But as we continue to grow as a society, hopefully bettering our education system along the way, it's crucial to consider this often-forgotten element of a child's schooling.

Keep Reading... Show less

In March, the whole country shut down. School was online, extra-curriculars were canceled, and I found myself laying in bed all day every day. One day, as I was laying in bed contemplating my laziness, I decided that I wanted to do something to make myself more healthy. I was feeling so down on myself and my laziness so I decided to make a change.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Songs That Made It Onto My September Playlist

September is the month for Los Angeles natives and Australian music fans.


The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns and The Driver Era are three Los Angeles bands that released songs this month. Not only was it a month for Los Angeles bands, but many Australian bands released new music — San Cisco's fourth studio album, Surf Trash single, Skegss single, and High Tropics single. I made new discoveries this month and was pleased by the amount of new music.

Read the listicle below to learn what came out this month in alternative rock music:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Staying Active While You're Stuck Inside IS Possible, It Just Takes Some Small Steps

I know the last thing you want to think about right now is exercising, but it's time to put down the controller and put on your workout clothes.


As someone who has also been living on a bed since March, I can guarantee you that working out has been the last thing on my priority list. It's pretty far down there, along with my motivation and brain cells I used to use for work. However, I have made an effort in the past couple of weeks to move up exercising to at least number three on my priorities list.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Got Clean At A Very Young Age, And It Honestly Saved My Life

At 18, the world looked so much different for me than it did for most other 18-year-olds that I knew.

Emmie Pombo

Going into rehab when I was 19 was hands down the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. My addiction started when I was around 17 and spiraled and spiraled out of control, as addictions always do. However, looking back, I'm so lucky my addiction started and ended when it did.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Things Your Partner Can Do To Support You When You Have PCOS

Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.

If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Watched 'The Social Dilemma' And YIKES, I'm Terrified For The Next Generation's Mental Health

Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.

The Social Dilemma / Netflix

I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.


On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments