November 22, 2007

alive in NYC

i've been in new york city for about a week now, visiting annie, and just sorta living aimlessly in the best possible way ever. we are in the upper east side of the city, in a 3 room apartment with 4 other girls. you do the math. space is limited, just like money, and time... but i don't think i could be happier.

today we woke up around 9 am, we threw our sneakers on and hastily made our way down the hall and five flights of stairs to the outside world. since all 5 of us share 2 keys, we leave one copy with ed- the shoe repair guy, whenever we go out. his shop neighbors our apartment and is cluttered with tools, and shoe laces, and all the other odds and ends that a shoe repairman could acquire over 25 years of dependable service. i feel enormous whenever i'm in his shop, and i always come out smelling like polished leather. ed gladly assumes the responsibility of key holder, and it is my belief that he looks forward to the small talk encounters we share whenever one of us needs to be let back into the building.

once annie and i hit the streets we breathed in the heavy city air and jogged our way through the masses of people. like a complex maze, i thoughtfully lead the way from lex and 72nd, past maddison avenue, crossing over the met's jeffersonian steps, and stopping only for oncoming traffic and the occasional artist's booth.
only a little winded, we finally reached central park. my eyes were instantly overwhelmed by the miles and miles of open green space. straight ahead of us was a vast clearing that could have easily held up to 3 or 4 football fields. the green was paralyzing. atop the emerald terrain and its rolling hills, were random clusters of people lying on blankets, and bathing in the sun. they reminded me of drifters at sea, floating on colorful rafts, and were the only absence of green in this central city acreage. i felt at home.

our run was amazing, and i've run in a lot of cool places before: the grand canyon, the english coast, up a mountain in the forgotten city of bergamo italy, but this was much different. it felt familiar and comfortable, and as an outsider that is really something. i felt like a runner here, which must sound idiotic - since i am one and have been for over 5 years. what i mean to say is that in the middle of all the life here, i felt, in my bones, as though i was achieving a purpose effortlessly. so often i set out to live deliberately and i'm left feeling like a fraud. inadvertency is not as easy as it looks.

the reason i love new york city is this: life is always happening. it buzzes around me like an atmosphere of possibility, and despite it's greatness, and history - it includes me. i am a vital part of what makes this city alive. and it doesn't matter if you're a shoe repairman or a scientist researching the cure for cancer - your life has value here and just as importantly, it feels valuable.

i have only a few more days in the city and then i am off to the west indies, followed by 2 months in europe. the summer is half spent and i still haven't even begun my great adventure. but that is yet to come. right now i'm here and i intend on living in the now.

**** i've been listening to the weepies. they make me feel like i should be wearing a scarf.

1 comment:

  1. i think you summed up how most people feel about nyc.. although i really could never live there again. i had my fill, now it's on to other things, not necessarily bigger or better, but definitely just as fascinating !