New York City, An Island No More

Yesterday was a mess of chaos. My flight to New York arrived on time but resulted in the plane flying around the airport due to a sudden freak thunderstorm over the city. I was supposed to land at 6 p.m., drop off my gear, and head to The Color Purple on Broadway at 8 p.m.

Did I mention I hadn’t eaten all day or slept, because I was helping out at my parents’ small business (more to come on that) minutes before heading out for my flight. By the time I landed, my bladder was busting, my stomach was gurgling, and I was so exhausted I wanted to throw up from dizziness. But alas, we ran to the theatre and made the show. It was a true work of art to say the least. I think of all the shows I’ve ever seen, it’s by far the best in terms of singing talent. And Danielle Brooks from Orange is the New Black was amazingly funny and hilarious.

The night ended with Japanese pasta and garlic bean sprouts, with a side of Stranger Things to spook me to sleep.

Yet this morning, at a breezy 68 degrees, the city was kind. I took my time on the subway, watching each individual life pass by. I let myself hint at my non-native status by looking up every block, smiling at the skies and stretching skyline.

I thought my relationship with New York was strong when I spent so much time in Brooklyn last year, but wandering around by myself for hours, I appreciate it so much more. The rushed stoic faces, the glint of cyclists and walkers as they glide through crosswalks, still ever in love with the tall buildings and waves of life around them.

The scents of fried this, stewing that, and drip, pour, steamed liquid energy on every corner and block.

As I sit at HousingWorks, a cafe and bookstore that feels a little like home and generosity, I think of how different I feel about the city. The blinking lights and grand views are still breathtaking but less distant and intimidating and more familiar.

It’s like any relationship. The more we visit each other, the more we return, we become a little less like floating islands.

And we start to notice the color purple in a field of green. The little flower that we almost missed, the point, the joy.