I generally do a lot of walking around new places, both to learn my way around and to get a feel for where I am. New York is a very walkable city. It’s a grid, which makes it pretty easy to get around. I was skeptical at first, but you actually can feel the neighborhoods as they change and evolve. I’m still studying neighborhood maps because most areas blur together to some degree (at least for me). Having a sense of where I am helps me feel grounded, which is something I desperately need right now. Walking gives me something to do and also serves a second purpose – I can unapologetically play tourist in what is presently my city!
So far, I like New York City a lot. I didn’t expect to. For a variety of reasons, I’m not sure that I want to. But I do. I like that a city can look like all of this at once:
I’d forgotten how old New York actually is. It’s so cool to see reminders of that on the same block as the most modern of skyscrapers.
I also like that Bloomingdale’s, for whatever reason, has flags:
I know the cloudless blue skies won’t be around forever, but I like those, too.
New York is clever, as well. Many restaurants and shops display chalkboards outside with messages to try to entice customers. I’ve stopped and read many of them and this one was my favorite of the week:
(Yes, that’s a shadow me taking a photo in the bottom right corner.)
I’ve already written about my fears about New York. There have been some significant changes since that post, but the allure of New York hasn’t changed. It’s still big and loud and fast. It’s still dazzling and bright. I’ve found that it’s surprisingly easy to feel equally part of and dissociated from crowds. My favorite moment of New York City living so far was last Saturday’s run in Central Park with hundreds of other people in dozens of shades of neon. I’ve never been so exhilarated by something so mundane as a morning run.
One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years. – Tom Wolfe
So far, I like what I’ve seen. I don’t know how long I’ll be here but I intend to make this city as much of mine as I can for however long that is.