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New York City, a Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are made of

By Port Moresby Governor Powes Parkop 

NEW YORK - a city that needs no introduction!!. Each and everyone of us in the world have heard and seen pictures of this great American City and I am no exception.

We all have our own impression and mental image of this massive mega metropolis based on either stories, movies, sporting events like US Open, the UN General Assemblies, Bronx, so many popular songs and of course the 9/11 tragedy.

Going to New York for the first time and to participate in the world summit on Climatic Change at the United Nation was for me one of mix emotions.

Firstly, it was a great honour and privilege to be given such a platform in such a city to speak on behalf of Port Moresby with other mayors, governors and leaders of the world at the invitation of the United Nation. At the same time, on a personal level, just going to New York itself is something else!

New York is New York! It’s a brand and a statement of so many things! I had many opportunities to travel there before but either the long flight or the weather always stopped me. Now that I have made the trip, I must say that it truly lived up to its name and the impression that was created about this city through books and songs, plays and movies. It’s truly a city where there is nothing you can’t do, where dreams are made and the lights never sleep. The city buzzes like the endless possibilities it offers.

Three days is totally insufficient to explore NY as there was still so much to see and do. I left NY the 4th day of my stay totally awed and mesmerised by everything NY has to offer.

New York is truly something else! It’s like a living creature that seem to have its own life!!INever exhausted. Cars moving non-stop! People walking, running, jogging, cycling, endless shops, cafes, restaurants and most of all, it’s the melting pot of people from all over the world- everyone can feel at home as you can blend in and be a New Yorker irrespective of where you come from.

I walked a lot too while I was there. To the UN HQ through to 39th, 40, 41,42,43,44,45 to 47th Avenue, Lane Avenue, Central Station, Central Park, driving through Harlem, pass the famous Apollo Theatre, Queens, Times Square, Columbia Univerity.

Yes I did not have time to see landmark sights like Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Bronx, Empire State Building, Museums or ride the sub way, however, from what I saw and felt, I am determined to return to this great city again some day.

New York looked relatively modern and clean. Buildings were either rebuilt or are actually new or otherwise well looked after. Even its old building looked modern or new like Central Station, a monument within the city - a strong and grand building! The sky was blue and clear and the air was almost pure. It is a great testament to this City otherwise also known as the Big Apple.

NY is a planned city, carefully thought out and well managed. It has had its bad reputation. It still has its many challenges from drugs to crime but for a large city with high density and a population of almost 20 million, it is one of the largest metropolitan city in the world, drawing people from all countries, nationalities, faith and language. New York is an incredible City. It is a liveable City and a great City.

The Central Park reflects the vision and the attention the city has given towards urban planning. The Park was planned, designed and built in the 1800s. Even from that time, they planned and thought ahead to build the infrastructure and create an environment that will make New York to be more than just a City but a life style - a city of life, culture, arts, music, memories and of course economy, work, school and employment.

As I left New York, I watched the movie called “Sun is also a Star”. It was a movie that captured all I saw in New York in those four days. I am more than determined that we should develop Port Moresby to be a timeless City like New York! I learnt that what we build today will must continue to enhance our lives and be useful and relevant for residents and visitors even 200 years from now!
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