I had to run a million errands yesterday, one of which brought me into the city alone.
It’s not often that I ride the subway alone. When Sunny and I go into the city it’s usually by car or we’re on the subway together where I sing Itsy Bitsy Spider 12 million times and entertain her in any way that I can. But yesterday, while alone on the train, I my headphones on and listened to my music and watched people get on and off the train. I bought an iced tea, visited my brother-in-law at work in midtown, and walked across town with some very trendy people to try on my very beautiful bridesmaid dress, and then got back on the subway to return to my very normal life.
Only it struck me yesterday that my life, our life, is anything but normal.
I saw millions of people in about 2 hours time. I watched 4 eight year olds dance on the moving train for money ( I gave in- supporting their art), I watched Mama’s with babies strapped to them clearly returning form work, having picked up their little ones on the way home, I watched young lovers kiss, and bands singing on platforms, and one homeless man who had made a really creative hat and sweater ensemble from torn dirty newspapers- I wish I had a picture of that one. I walked yOUR city and the energy
hits you slaps you in the face. Busy people, artistic people, all types and kinds of people. Where are all of these people going? I’m sure from space NYC must look like a giant ant farm- everyone cooperating together to create this energy that is so encompassing that no matter how much I bitch and complain ( and I do, I do so much) I could never leave yOUR city. Ever.
How grateful I am that my Sunny will breathe this air that millions of people breathe. We walk outside of our door and the world is there to meet us. She was born here, in this insanity, literally on 57th street and 9th ave. at Columbus Circle. New York is more than yOUR city it’s your heart. It gets in your blood, we are addicted to its craziness…we are addicted. It is love and hate relationship-abusive in most ways; it is impossible to walk away from its magnetic pull.
I used to walk these streets and notice nothing. I wore heels and carried an LV bag and straightened my hair every morning. Now, it’s different, I’m different- and yet yOUR city is still the perfect fit for me. Now I walk in slippers with what I can only describe as a Mom coat and diaper bag. The other day Matt and I brought Sunny in and we visited the Central Park Zoo where she mooed at cows and fed goats, and giggled at penguins. We ate at soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai and went shopping at Macy’s, I’d like to ask how many toddlers can say they did that on a random Wednesday? We live here, we stay here, and I know my friends worry…but we don’t just live her we LIVE in yOUR city and we love our city and we are happy here, we are a part of the tapestry. we contribute to the energy and we are so grateful.
Still, there are times I long for home. Familiar air, good friends, a less complicated existence of sorts. Next week I’ll be returning to the second city, my first city, the city that inhabits my friends and their lovers, families, and babies. There is something beautiful about the great mid-west that stays in your heart even in the midst of taller, bigger, heavier buildings. I think it’s the people; the beat is different but the awe is the same.