On a weekend trip to New York City with my Jersey family, it struck me that the reason I find the city so excruciatingly overwhelming is not that there are so many souls eeking it out in one place, it’s that each and every one of those souls is important.
I am bowled flat by the knowledge I will never know or touch 99.9% (not an exact figure) of the people in that city. We will all live and die, never the wiser, never moved by one another’s presence on this planet.
And then, once my family had departed back to Jersey, I wandered a two block radius around Penn Station (which took me thirty minutes), and walked down one street (or was it an Ave?) where the buildings might as well have been the sides of a concrete canyon. Not a tree in sight. Not one green thing. The only reminder of the planet, besides the humans robotically walking past, was the sky. I looked up and it was like, Whoa! How’d you get there? I forgot about you.
Still, I learned a few new things on this trip:
- Compared with the off-Broadway shows I’ve experienced, a play on Broadway has more pomp, glitter, and magic than any unicorn I’ve ever (not) seen (sorry, unicorns.) I believe Sister Act alone is using up half the Earth’s supply of sequins.
- Number streets are short, avenues go on forever (how had I not noticed this in all the years I’ve visited?) Beware the avenues.
- If you see Whole Foods store bags, there’s definitely a Whole Foods nearby, but you’ll never be able to see it unless you look real close.
I do not love New York City, but I admit I’m learning to appreciate.
Whew! Back to Boston.