Read more about Tom Gate’s personal account at MatadorNetwork.com: 8:46 am, 9/11 Manhattan
Third period. Biology with Ms. Laureria. She was going over the syllabus. I was wiping down my T-Zone with some loose powder. My best friend Rob sat on the far right side of the… http://katkatravels.com/?p=1813
Such character in Little Italy
New York City SHOULD be the capital of New York State. But it’s not.
Ever since I’ve been alive, New York City has been a part of my life. I live about thirty minutes from this bustling metropolis and have fond memories of traveling by train and car for… http://katkatravels.com/?p=1399
There is often a disconnect between travelers and local communities; many people stay in hotels, eat in touristy areas and shop according to their guidebooks. Most rarely interact with local people unless during some sort of transaction. Voluntourism is a great way for travelers to help out while experiencing all their temporary community has to offer. Voluntourism – the act of traveling for the purpose of volunteering – is a growing trend within the travel community. Many times, voluntourists can get their lodging and meals from host families in exchange for their services.
I used to work as a volunteer coordinator at the College of Charleston, setting up students with local non-profits and communicating with the public about community needs in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the programs we ran was called “Alternative Spring Break,” where students organized voluntourism trips across America and around the world.
Never been to New York City before? What better way to explore my hometown than creating a voluntour to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy? New York and New Jersey are in dire need of extra hands. You can help to help rebuild homes, hang out with awesome people who need a friend, and clean up what were some of the best beaches in America.
Here are some great resources for helping out the local communities in and around New York City. Can’t get away from home? You can still donate your time and effort from afar:
How to help in New York City after Hurricane Sandy: Time Out New York lists ways you can volunteer locally in NYC, donate blood, collect food and clothing and funds to Hurricane Sandy victims.
Storm Aftermath: Live Updates: Great resource for those wishing to go to New York City/Long Island to help with the aftermath. Includes live updates of transportation routing, which areas have restored power, emergency supplies distribution, school closing information, and up-to-the-minute news articles.
Long Island Volunteer Center: Come clean up my house! Just kidding, but here is a great list of organizations from my neck of the woods, along with how YOU can help my community get back on its feet.
If you are interested in helping out the Hurricane Sandy relief effort but are still stuck, feel free to contact me via email. I’d be happy to point you out in the right direction!
New York City is an unattainable goal. It keeps me at arms length. I have traversed through its guts a hundred times over, I have crawled in and out of its rigid grid ribs – but nevertheless, it becomes a glimmer in my eye and a wave goodbye to this fair city.
Always in New York but never a “New Yorker.”
I know it better than some who have lived their whole lives in those glass-and-brick buildings. It’s a snap and a tease and once more I am back on that long island.
I will never know what it’s like to spend half of my paycheck on a closet-sized room in a shared apartment with exposed brick in the living room and a bathtub in the kitchen. I will never know what it’s like to lay in a park on “city grass” and stare up at a smoggy sky. I will never know what it’s like to love a man from the Lower East Side, or work in a corporate cubicle on Madison Avenue. I am missing out on boho wine cellars, Ethiopian eateries, community gardens, hand-stitched boutiques, music collectives and using the subway’s erratic scheduling conflicts as an excuse for being late to work.
Every other city in the world offers me respite. Even the city of sound New Delhi, or the crowded intersections of Tokyo, somehow relax and revive me. But Manhattan never lets me rest. Manhattan is an oasis of opportunity that disappears the moment I find my way. Manhattan keeps me coming back for more.