There are times in life when you know Adventure is beckoning you. Sometimes it sweeps you away with a great gust of breath, wrapping you up in the rush of the unknown. Other times it woos with the crook of a finger and a twinkle of promise in its eyes.
It was this promise that moved me to buy a train ticket to New York City and spend a few hours there. For a while, I’d been looking to visit the city but the time didn’t seem to be right, which always disappointed me. And yet, I was able to find an opportunity to squeeze in a quick hug while in Philadelphia.
I wish I could explain the pull I feel toward New York City. I’m not a singer, actor, dancer or artist. My business acumen leaves much to be desired. And my fashion sense is chaotic at best. From the moment I set foot in it as an adult four years ago, it felt like home. The city seemed like a place I belonged. I’ve stayed in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. I crossed the tourist attractions off my list long ago. Each visit has given me a deeper look at life. Has satisfied the need I have for culture, art, and music. And there are memories of the city that I need to push away from my heart. Memories, while dear and precious to me, tie me to a place in my past that still makes my heart sting with pain.
So my heart and I set off to see new things. I wanted to experience the Metropolitan Opera outside at Lincoln Center. To visit J.P. Morgan’s library and die a little inside at how beautiful it is. To lay in the grass in Central Park and read for the sheer pleasure of it. To gaze upon the delicate beauty of Degas, the rich, bold color of Van Gogh, and the smooth marble of sculptures at the Met. I indulged in pizza at Laraza’s and coffee at Cafe Grumpy. My senses filled themselves with sights and sounds that usually color my dreams.
Perhaps that’s it. My dreams come with the monochromatic cement of skyscrapers, the glitter of night lights and the jerk and flow of crowds of people. I don’t feel big or small when I visit New York City. I feel most me. And maybe sometimes, in the monotony of life, routine, and responsibility, who I am is like a dream that’s just beyond my grasp.