Lizette Gutierrez, 24
Lexington Ave between 24th and 25th Sts.
Mon Oct 11 2010
Photograph by Allison Michael Orenstein
What are you up to? I'm lost. I'm looking for Times Square, actually. I'm trying not to ask anyone because I'm afraid they'll make me more lost. I'm just visiting.
Where are you from? Houston, Texas. You guys say "HOW-ston Street"—it really confuses me. I told all my friends and nobody believes me.
It's very confusing. So, are you one of those Texans who wants secession? Umm...no. I want to be part of the United States.
But you had to think about it for a second. Well, I do think about it, because some of my family are immigrants from Mexico and all that stuff is going on with immigration.... But then again, it sounds clich, but I want people to come live the American dream like my family did.
We Yanks are kind of prejudiced about Texas; we like to call it bigoted. You are totally, totally right. I'm not from Houston, I'm from El Paso. Over there, we don't have whites or Arabs or anything in between—it's only Hispanic. When I moved to Houston, I got to encounter segregation.... There's a Hispanic side of town, a black side of town, a white side of town. In New York, I see people talking to everyone—whites, blacks and people from all around the world.
Sounds like you guys need a couple decades to catch up. I think maybe in a hundred years we'll be a little more normal.
More from Lizette
"I've been dying to go to New York City. My friends are always like, 'Yeah yeah yeah, we'll go....' So this time I was like, You know what? Screw it. I'm going by myself. I don't care if I get lost, I don't care if I get mugged, I just wanna see what New York is about."
"I feel so free here. I can be wearing blue pants and a neon green shirt—some crazy clown outfit. People might look, and then they go on about their lives."
"I'm a medical assistant. For a while there I worked at an abortion clinic. I had to be the one giving the tools and be there, hands-on, having a part in this thing. Sometimes we would have to do women that were already past six months pregnant, when [the fetuses] were already full-blown children, because they had some type of disease and the doctor gave them an okay to do it. It was almost a delivery. It would just gross me out, like, My God, what am I doing? My family is pro-life and they were like, You're working at an abortion clinic? I was brought up in church and I don't believe it's wrong, but I also don't believe it's right."