The streets are streets, and the grocery stores have Smart Water, but it is deeply unfamiliar. I think I experience the ebb more like a thrust, a rubber band slingshot to New York, not being able to see the return trajectory of the rubber band back towards LA. I land, and I jump into a furiously flowing current, routines and jobs at full speed. My overarching feeling in preparation for leaving LA was that so many things were falling from my shoulders like heavy robes. I have never experienced such a complex cocktail of emotions, moving quickly through the valleys to get right back to the peaks. But it was also balanced with bursts of joy, creativity, and the rising, fleeting energy of goodbyes and kind words to carry me.
Appearance is the concrete, and in two days of visiting coffee shops and exploring their surrounding vibes, I found some simple beauties to the mechanism. The anonymity is liberating and refreshing. No one gives a fuck who you are or what you’re wearing, doing, we’re all just on our way, and we’ve somehow all convened in Washington Square Park. It is so nice to be a sponge for all the details of a new city.
I will never forget the beauty of the pigeon man. He was a beacon, surrounded by maybe 200 birds on the corner of a path. He held a pigeon, nuzzling it to his face, speaking to the bird and his small group of teenage converts. There stood a lean girl with long brunette hair, one pigeon perched on her head and one in her hand. There they were, cradling rats like doves. This is six benches down from a jazz trio, whose trumpet echoed and soared across the park. Then a man with a long, white ponytail and a red Hawaiian-y print shirt stepped up to tap dance with the next song. It was my hazardous guess as to what constitutes a “quintessential New York scene.”
I question what the meaning of the word “pace” means for my efforts. The buzz, the electricity of it all, is stimulating, and it is comprised of both excitement and bubbles of anxiety. So keep going. Keep my eyes fresh. Say yes.