I am not American, nor have I ever immigrated to the United States. I'm a European currently studying abroad in New York for one semester as a full time student of NYU Shanghai. However, I have been attending American schools abroad for six years now so I consider myself familiar with the culture and history of the US. Nevertheless, thinking about the time when I first arrived in New York two months ago, Manhattan certainly did not feel like home. Instead, I only started feeling like I belong in New York after the first visit to Chinatown with my Chinese friend from Shanghai. I find that quite amazing since I've always perceived myself as very Americanized while feeling like the embodiment of a lost foreigner throughout my stay in China.
The picture above shows the arch in Chinatown in Washington D.C. which I visited during spring break a week ago. It evoked some vivid memories of my first days in the US.
– Aleks L.