i fell in love.
people think new york is dark and dirty, uninviting, maybe imposing, with tall, cold buildings that block out everything. keep your head down, keep moving--but it's more than that. the hustle and bustle is there. for sure. but it's all...lively. supercharged. excited. frenzied. vibrant. alive. and i love it.
i love the way sunlight dashes between the glass buildings, the light ricocheting down skyscrapers and across avenues, spraying a million colors and shades and shadows a million different ways.
i love seeing an imposing new glass and steel tower next to a pre-war red brick walk up. with a gothic church thrown in for good measure. i love the metal and stone and brick and concrete, in a city so desperate for life they put a tree in random corners, the dirt puddling and leaves wilting on every muggy day.
i love the yellow taxis and the black sedans and the fancy sports cars. i love that the city streets seem so crowded, i wonder where everyone parks and why anyone bothers with a car in the first place.
i love brushing past crowded corners as tourists bundle together, a nervous crowd unsure where to go and unwilling to be the first to take a step. i love seeing red city tour buses full of people taking pictures of random corners and buildings and people that they actually know nothing about, so removed from the reality of it. what they see and what i see is totally different, and i love that most of all. being the one looked at rather than the one looking in.
i love the lights. the insaneness of how bright everything is even at night. how nothing seems to settle down, but everything is still inviting even in the dark.
i love how loud it gets. how on every street corner, someone is shouting. or a subway train rumbles under foot, steam rising from the ground. or the honking and the wailing and the rushing noise that fills the air. there's no quiet, but the rhythm still feels peaceful.
i love being pushed around by people so eager and ready and determined to get to their next destination. how every red light is a life crisis or a personal affront. there's a desperation to move, to never settle, and it's an energy that fuels the city. a constant pulsing down every block, every corner, every street.
i love the accents. the personalities. the nationalities. i love that everyone has a story completely separate from anyone elses' about how they got here or what they're doing or where they're from.
i love the food. good heavens, the food. i've had waffles that melt in your mouth. lemon bars that make your toes tingle. cronuts--they taste like heaven. cupcakes. doughnuts. ice cream bars. rice crispy treats. frozen yogurt. popsicles. ...and repeat. everything so new and fresh and delicious. with so many options, it's less commercial or corporate. these are passion projects. from people who love food. and it pays off.
i love that it's mid october and i'm still in short sleeves. fall in new york is beautiful. the coolness settles in slow, sneaking into the city day by day. everything feels crisper, but it's still wonderfully pleasant. it's like i've never experienced fall before. in utah, it comes fast and hard, suddenly dumping frost and snow...and then apologizing with a few weeks of muddled confusion. but here? it's 68 degrees and i'm still smiling.
i love that i'm a part of it. coming here, i was kind of unimpressed with my story--small town girl from utah, unemployed and a little naive. it didn't seem that interesting. but the more people i meet, the more i realize--everyone has a story. and to make it out here? that's adventure. i'm glad i was a little stupid, buying a one-way ticket without really knowing what i was getting into.
and i love that i'm out here now, struggling and striving and all that stupid stuff. i've met so many cool people. and new yorkers can be pushy and cold and impatient (hey, let's be honest, maybe that's why i fit in so well), but they are also loyal and proud and eager to let you into their lives. every time i meet someone new, i'm so excited. really, i'm always excited. because nothing is ever boring here. everything's an adventure. not always a good one, but an adventure nonetheless.
i love that.
i love that i feel settled here. that i don't always have to pull out my phone to navigate. that i have favorite corners to visit, or opinions on where to eat. that i feel comfortable wandering neighborhoods or getting home late.
there's a sense of home here that i never got in provo. every apartment i had in college, it felt temporary. unimportant. not mine. but here, i mean, i don't plan on staying in this one apartment forever...but it still feels like home. and i like it, being nestled between two subway stations so i'm close to everything, caught between two churches where i hear gospel choirs pouring their souls out each sunday, rooted in this crazy awesome city that has a way of sneaking up on you until you forget everything bad it ever did to you and you just feel, finally, like a part of something.
because this city has its flaws. in fact, half of everything i just listed can get on my nerves at any given time. and don't even get me started on the centipedes.
but it's like a moody toddler that way: you can't help but love it, even at its worst. and today? today wasn't bad.
today was a good day.