New York City Serenade

Echos of Springsteen’s nine-minute opus echoed in my head as I arrived. Every cliche in the book hit me at once and every stereotype known to man stared back at me. I love New York! A far cry from the idyllic tranquility of the trails Taylor and I hike each day in Sausalito, New York has got the subtlety of a Mike Tyson punch. Apparently, I love getting hit.

The easy (almost) three hour Amtrak commute from DC to NYC ended at Penn Station. Dressed in a trench coat, sunglasses, boots and a scarf, I could not help but smile once I left the escalators going up from the train platform to the throng of daily commuters going this way and that. I looked like I’m up to something; it’s always been my favourite look. The smell of grease permeated the air underground as Christmas music filled in the half-second lulls carried by thousands of conversations.

To be alive here is to truly be alive. I have always felt it every time I visit this great city, perhaps the greatest of all cities. I have not even met up with my cousin or with my friends, and yet, I am having the time of my life.

In one sense, hiking alone with my dog and with my thoughts has been a clear way to getting to know myself and what I want and what I am truly capable of. Getting from point A to point B underground through New York’s massive subway system is another way to accomplish the same thing, only here I am alone with thousands upon thousands of people.

Want to get to know a city? Get to know its public transit system. And if you love maps ( who doesn’t love maps?), one way to love a city is to understand it through maps of the subway. And there’s no city in the States where the subway is so closely linked to its heart like New York.

Everyone is here. Anyone can be here. And yet, you can feel alone, where it’s just you and no one here. I love that about the subway. From the Amtrak, I walked to the subway to catch the 3 train. Once I arrived onto the platform deep in the bowels, a man with a trombone played more holiday music.

I was going downtown.
Patsy Cline and Jerry Seinfeld would have approved.
I was headed to Wall Street.
Where was Charlie Sheen and Gordon Gecko?

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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3 thoughts on “New York City Serenade

  1. Each year since our kids were young, my husband would take them to San Francisco for a Christmas shopping trip. Then we moved from the Bay Area, so he made it an overnight shopping trip. Just yesterday he was talking about doing something different for next year…taking them to NYC. Looking at your photos gets me excited for that possibility.


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