Nov 302011

When I first arrived in New York City, my big plan was to orchestrate my days so I could spend as much time outside of it as possible. Surrender to the city didn’t occur to me as a plausible option until a few months into my residency here. I’m so glad it finally did.

What 9 Months in the City Has Taught Me That I Never Could Have Learned From Nature

  1. Leaning over the tracks and staring down the subway tunnels does NOT make the train arrive, even if supplemented by frequent angry looks at a watch.
  2. It is possible to arrive at a psychological state where you are sincerely not alarmed by anything.
  3. It can and does take 45 minutes to travel 6 miles by car.
  4. There are easily more than 500 ways to prepare a vodka drink.
  5. Trees will grow anywhere and through appalling surfaces.
  6. Personal space is frequently more valuable than personal connection.
  7. People are just weird. And they are ALL weird EVERYWHERE. It’s not more or less so in a city, they just generally have nicer shoes there.
  8. No matter how noisy it gets, there is always a resounding bass note of pure silence right underneath it all.
  9. The definition of “beauty” is easily broadened and it is a joy choice to do so.
  10. The “I Never Ever” drinking game should never ever be played with mixed generation family members.
  11. A city has its own little ecosystem with its own abstract rules for survival that absolutely do not apply anywhere else outside its boundaries… Much like high school or band camp.
  12. The human nervous system does have a dimmer switch.
  13. The history of humanity is made much more interesting when visual evidence of it bleeds out from modern existence in front of you on a daily basis.
  14. Roads are trails.
  15. The adrenaline from stress and stimulation can be focused into very creative endeavors.
  16. Singing out loud in all situations is perfectly acceptable.
  17. Every train station is a gateway to an entirely different world.
  18. When all of the comforts of life are always close at hand, people tend to seek out difficulties.
  19. You find yourself wherever you are. No choice. Your feet are always attached somehow to your mind.
  20. The city is beautiful, vibrant, and incredibly lively. It takes you  in the moment you say “yes” to it. Just like nature.
And I’m still here.
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  4 Responses to “What 9 Months in the City Has Taught Me That I Never Could Have Learned From Nature”

  1. Simply a perfect commentary, I learned much of that in London, loved this one…”The human nervous system does have a dimmer switch”

  2. Your list is right-on… I have to say it! NYC as a place symbolically represents everything that I don’t want to live in or be a part of, yet I love being there. From no other place can I list the amazing and rich experiences that I can refer to as “When in New York…”

  3. I wonder about No. 10: what will happen if you do?

    Are there ruins in the center of NYC? Anything abandoned?

  4. It’s true.. It’s an incredible place that I am certain I have barely come to know yet 🙂

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