September 11, 2018
[LS] Int Seminar 1: Fake
The Empire State Building
This picture was taken in the Empire State Building on the 17th of August, the day after my arrival in New York. It was my second time visiting: I went to New York for a week when I was fifteen years old. So I did not have much experience or anything about living in this place, nor my parents have. To get familiar with the city, our family took a city sightseeing bus and visited lots of tourist attractions including art museums, galleries, restaurants, and parks before I finally got to the Empire State Building. When we first entered the building, I could see a long line of people waiting for tickets. They all seemed pretty excited. I could hear people around me talking and laughing at each other. My family also stood in line to get tickets and after about fifteen minutes, we got our tickets, and the staff there lead us the way. We got on the elevator and went all the way up to the 84th floor. There were quite a lot of people fitting inside the elevator. I was in the corner, looking at the ceiling where it said, “welcome to the Empire States Building.” Then, the elevator started moving, making a weird screeching sound that everybody could hear.
When I got out of the elevator, the first thing I saw was big windows. In front of those windows, families and friends there were having a good time taking pictures of themselves. The view was stunning. I could tell by looking at people saying “Wow” with their facial expression when they saw the view. It was around 7 o’clock, and I could see a beautiful glow of the sky at sundown. It was a mixture of blue, orange, yellow and red. When I looked down, I could see lots and lots of buildings densely forming the scenery of New York. My parents and I absolutely loved the view so we asked a stranger to take a picture for us. The person took several pictures for us, and it turned out really nice.
I love how all three of us are smiling in the picture. This picture means a lot to me since I am going to be staying in New York for the next four months without my parents. They were supposed to go back to Korea in three days after the picture was taken, so it was worth visiting the place. I could spend some time with my family before they go back to Korea. Once we came down from the 84th floor, we visited a souvenir shop and bought some clothes that have “the Empire States Building” on it.
About three weeks have passed since the picture was taken. I am now officially a student at Parsons School of Design. I have already learned so many things in the past three weeks: I got to know the area, colleagues, teachers, transportations and most importantly the school. I visited way more places than before and made lots of different friends from different places. I have experienced so many things in school. My friends all have their unique personality and characteristics that are different to mine. Although I am still learning and getting to know more about the city, I think I got more adjusted to the school life.
Misconceptions could surely arise from viewing at this picture. The image is well edited to make people think that this picture is actually taken in the Empire Building. Before entering the photo spot, the staff there asked people to stop by and take a picture together in front of the green screen. Then, they would ask tourists to pay for the edited picture. Our family could have taken a good picture of ourselves, but we paid for the better-looking picture. Even though we knew it was fake, we wanted to have a better picture. Maybe it was because the photo spot at night time was so crowded we could not take a good picture on the phone. Many peopl are willing to have “fake” things if it is better than what it really is. Then I question myself: does that mean “fake” can replace the truth? One reason why “fake” can be powerful is that people do not know whether this is fake or not if they view it from outside, even though the person who got the fake image knows that it is a fake image. For the picture above, only I know that it is fake. Therefore if I say I took this picture from the top of the Empire State building, people might believe it. Even though it is not real, I think fake things can make people believe in falsification and that is why it is so powerful.