Silent Manhattan

Silent Manhattan

An exploration of my love for New York City.

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.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

One of the biggest discomforts I initially had with the stay-at-home order was feeling trapped and isolated from what was going on outside the walls of my house. Add that to living in a massive city, where social distancing is nearly impossible when doing something as simple as walking down the street.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is no such thing as a defined beauty industry. For those who believe so, it's time to open your eyes and look around you. Chilling in LA, Beauty Beez has been marketing the beauty industry towards people of color. Not to mention, Beauty Beez is a Black-owned beauty store. They have their own beauty bar that provides threading, waxing, facials, and braiding!

With the client at the center of the experience, our diverse group of professional and knowledgeable beauty experts are able to effectively educate and assist, while you explore. - Beauty Beez

You bet their fabulous mission statement was created by a female entrepreneur. Her name is Brittney Ogike and she is a mompreneur with a career in sports management. Beauty Beez came to life through mere observation or the lack of.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've always been a picture hoarder. No matter what happens with someone or how many pictures I have of the same thing, I hate deleting pictures. They all serve as memories to me, which is something I think is super important.

Keep Reading... Show less

These Phoebe Buffay Outfits Prove She's A '90s Fashion Icon — We're Replicating EVERY Single One

In case you needed another reason to love our favorite coffee shop singer.


I've always been described as the Phoebe of my friend group — not just for being a vegan, animal-loving people pleaser, but also for the false sense of confidence in my singing and athleticism.

I consider it a compliment to be labeled a Phoebe. Besides her general warmth, I was always drawn to her hippy-chic vibes and passion for environmentalism before it was even cool to be vegan or to care about the planet. The way she carelessly ran through parks flailing her limbs without a care mimicked her effortlessly eccentric style.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Tis the season for wedding fun and if you're hosting or helping plan a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be, you're going to want it to be a blast. Whether it's a social distance soiree or a virtual party, games will always spice up the time with the gals, so if you're looking for a fun and easy one to get the party started (and everyone drunk), this game is for you.

What's the name of the game? "Drink If: Bachelorette Party Edition." Here's how it works.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Talked To My Friend About Her Cystic Fibrosis And Wow, CF Patients Are WARRIORS

Not many people can say they've had a double lung transplant.

Alissa Katz

Forty percent of the United States lives with a chronic disease. These diseases are unique in their own way, but one thing is the same — every individual who lives with a chronic condition faces obstacles because of their disease.

Not only do these illnesses require a lot of education for the individuals who have them, but for the community as a whole. The more we as a society know about these diseases, the more well-rounded (and ideally, helpful) we'll be. If anything, we'll have a greater appreciation for the strength individuals with chronic conditions show on a daily basis.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there... your brain was telling you "bad idea," but your heart was saying "but what if..." and now you're heartbroken. Whether you were actually in a relationship with the person or you never made it passed the "talking stage" before he broke your heart, it still hurts!

The good news? You're not alone and things will get better. Here are a few TikToks that will motivate you to move on, no matter what stage of the breakup process you're in.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments