New York City vs. Oklahoma- Blog 6

Last week, from Wednesday 10/7 through Monday 10/12, I was in New York City for the DHM study tour. Since I was gone, I missed class on Thursday and I ended up being very sick on Tuesday, so I missed class that day as well so I could rest for the trip. As I was not in class at all last week and missed the lectures, I thought it would be more interesting to analyze sustainability practices and the environment in New York City in comparison to Oklahoma. I also decided to do my blog a day late, like I discussed with Dr. Jayadas, so I could devote more time to a better entry. The real life analyzation gave me a learning epiphany that is very relevant and useful to my professional development and this class.

Before I went to New York City, I knew I was going into a big city and it would probably be dirty. I also knew I was going to the Northeast, which is a lot more dedicated to sustainable practices than the South and Midwest. On the first day in New York City, I only made it to Times Square because we got there late in the afternoon. I was horrified at how gross it was and how bad it smelled. Obviously when it is such a crowded area, it will be dirty. There was trash all over the ground. After traveling to different areas the whole week, I learned that nicer, less trafficked areas are much cleaner, as should be expected. In the high trafficked areas, there was a lot of trash on the ground, it smelled, and there was a lingering smell of exhaust from all of the cars. On some street corners, there were ginormous dumpsters that housed dozens of trash bags. Obviously, this smelled terrible and there was trash on the ground in the immediate area. On nearly every corner, there is a trash can, a can for plastic recycling, and a can for paper recycling. This is not something we see in most places in Oklahoma, but we do have that on campus. I was very surprised that I did not see more sustainable efforts in NYC; it was not much different than Oklahoma. However, I would assume that if I had time to venture out to the suburbs, or smaller neighborhoods like Brooklyn, those areas would show more sustainable efforts. While areas like Central Park, Park Avenue, Soho, and the Meatpacking district were more open with fewer skyscrapers, I felt trapped in the Garment district and near Times Square, where our hotel was. The first time I walked out of the hotel I felt like I wasn’t even outside. While I loved my trip and visiting New York City, it made me appreciate the openness and cleanliness of where we live.

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