An Urbanite Upbringing

2. Tell us about the environment in which you were raised-your family, home, neighborhood, or town-and how it influenced the person you are.

New York City is a place of vitality, the Rome of the new millennium. As more of a global city than an American one, it possesses a certain mystique on the world stage. Children in New York City are privy to realities that are foreign to suburbanites. As part of the hustle and bustle of urban life, city kids bear witness to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows of modern society. The corporate magnate shares the subway car with the homeless derelict. From a very young age, I was aware of how global a place New York City is. My early travels led me past the United Nations on a regular basis. I remember being fascinated by the patterns of the world’s flags and the colorful native dress of the African delegations. As a I grew older, I continued to take advantage of the cultural variance that surrounded me. It was common to discuss civil unrest in France with a waiter at the corner bistro or listen to a Pakistani cab driver expound upon the strained relationship between the Muslims and Jews. I would not have been afforded these experiences had I grown up in Westchester. Coming of age in New York City has infused me with a greater sensitivity to cultural and political diversity, and thus has whet my appetite for a career in international relations.From high chairs to high school, I have been drawn to an eclectic mix of people. I have mingled with the kind and the cruel, the poor and the posh, the native and the newcomer. Uniqueness simply fascinates me; it’s something New York has in abundance. In shaping my character, New York City made me a sociable and informed person. Such multicultural exposure has infused me with a greater sensitivity to cultural and political diversity than I would have experienced anywhere else.

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