Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I disrupt the subway’s empty stares with a smile, and interrupt its crowded silence with a hello.

Occasionally, people respond to my forwardness with confused glances. More often, though, I’m met with a warm face in return-a mild expression of gratitude-as most New Yorkers are eager to indulge in some complimentary courtesy.

It’s been about five weeks now that I’ve been in NYC, and I can’t ever recall a time when I felt so alive. Some days, I feel like I can’t afford to sleep, like the hours under the influence of REM are wasted moments, and that really, I should sacrifice rest altogether so as not to miss a beat.

Some days, I have to remind myself to breathe…to not just see the city’s energy pulsating around me, but feel it too.

Not an ordinary day passes. The conversations with strangers on subways never repeat themselves, and with each seemingly random discussion, I find myself to be that much closer to understanding the preciousness of life. With a concerted effort, I do what I can to not take these moments for granted, as everyday distractions are all too vast, and the opportunity to genuinely reach out to other people is constantly missed.

I am interested in hearing stories. Stories that to some may appear trivial or irrelevant are, to my ears, fascinating.

Before moving to the city, I was told that it would be hard to meet people. I was told that although I would be living in ‘the city that never sleeps,’ and quite literally be surrounded by new faces every day, that the likelihood of forming a relationship, friendship or otherwise, would be slim to none.

Thankfully, I never bought into this.

Since moving here, I’ve met some of the most interesting people. All walks of life roam the streets, and the trick to engaging with any of them is to, quite simply, speak up.

From the Dominican guy two blocks over whom I purchase fresh produce, to the homeless man who sits on a bench just south of Central Park- and the dozens of people I meet in between- I am fortunate to be surrounded by creative, intelligent, and unique types.

I am now an official participant of the force and power that is New York, and I'm loving every minute of it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Smaps - I knew the city was waiting for you to arrive...it is the perfect environment for you!
So glad you are so happy!

Anonymous said...

Has similar vibes here in Bangkok, this giant, never ending neon city... we should compare notes. Nice blog. NeilG