New York is de stad die in de vijfde aflevering van Nieuwkomers het decor vormt. Ter introductie vroegen we aan Jean Kwok om een klein portret van deze stad te schetsen. Wat maakt The Big Apple bijzonder? En waarin onderscheidt New York zich bijvoorbeeld van andere steden?
New York is a city of extremes. Women dripping with diamonds walk past homeless people lying in doorways. New York does not mean to be cruel but it is so huge, so filled with talent and despair at the same time, that it forces you to make hard choices. So many different cultures live side by side. If you go to see literature, dance, music or theatre in New York, you know you will watch some of the best in the world. However, behind the curtains is the harsh reality of hundreds of artists struggling to get onto that stage.
A friend of mine once told me, “Living in New York City is like living on Superman’s Krypton. Once you learn how to walk in NY, you can fly everywhere else.” I think that’s true. Not because New York is better than anywhere else but because it is so competitive that you need to do very much your best all of the time or you will be lost. New York is hard and glorious at the same time. When you fall, there is often no one to catch you. But when you succeed, you are among the stars of the world.