But then I take a walk or a drive or a rare ride on the train and the spark is once again ignited.
Where else can I get serenaded by a homeless gentleman one moment and sit on the train next to a celebrity the next? Where else can what you see, smell, taste, and touch change so quickly? I love my NYC.
Saturday I decided to take my camera for a stroll in the Financial District/World Trade Center, by all the hustle and bustle of money, politics and power. I haven't really been in that area since 911. I had no real idea what to expect, only what I've seen on television or heard.
As my train entered the station, the last stop, World Trade Center, Chambers Street, I got a lump in my throat, a queasiness in my stomach and my eyes began to water. People had died here. In this station, on a regular working day, sunny and ordinary...lives were lost. I took a deep breath, walked out the train onto the platform and looked around. You would have never known the station looks wonderful. I walked down a path that signaled I would exit by "the site" and as I claimed the stairs my heart pounded faster. I reach the top see all the people, turn the corner and there it is....one of the Towers. Beautiful, shiny and new. Tall ever present shouting look at me. I took another breath, blink a few tears away and take my first picture.
tower view from sitting on the ground looking up
So many people, so many different reasons for being there, some from far away, and for some this was/ is home. So many stories, so many things to take in. I continued to soak in as much as I could. I at that moment was a tourist as well. I read the signs, grabbed the pamphlets being handed out I walked in awe with my camera out. I took another picture. I closed my eyes, I said a few words and walked away.
When I decided to go on a camera date I hadn't imagined those moments but they happened. I also didn't want to invest my energy in sadness. I wanted to enjoy the day and not waste the Sunshine. I decided to walk the rest of my day in gratitude and in building a beautiful memory just like I am sure all those who were no longer here had done so often in their lifetimes.
I walked through Battery Park, Battery Gardens, saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance ( I must visit her up close someday), saw the Ferries leaving the piers click, click, edit, refocus, click. I watched a wedding party taking pictures, I walked over to the Stock Exchange stopped to admire the Bull, City Hall, Hemsley building, South Street Seaport head up, neck twisted, click, click on my knees, at an angle, in the shade, click, click.
Stopped by CVS grabbed a bag of Sun Chips and a Sparkling Ice drink, walked back to the train. Wow I've walked a lot today, look at the time.
I happen to like this view much better
My train was so eagerly awaiting me and with a song. Remember how I started my share? The homeless gentleman was singing a catchy tune, he got off on the following stop. On the stop after that a beautiful lady with a great coral color pantsuit walked in. Her hair had gray tones and was flowing. She looked so perky and happy. It wasn't who she was that caught my eye first it totally was her whole outfit but I knew who it was none the less and looked around to see if anyone else did too.
She sat right next to me! I was eating my chips, sipping my drink but I knew I wanted to acknowledge her so I cleaned up leaned in and said " excuse me I don't want to bring attention to you but I wanted to say I love your outfit and confirm that you are Blythe Danner." She said, "oh thank you and yes I am". Now if for some reason someone who is reading this doesn't know who she is, I will say this which will then make you say "OH". She is Gwyneth Paltrow's mother. But I made sure I addressed her as the person and actress she is first and foremost. Though I am Erica's mother, I was Mari first and as a mom it is always great when you are recognized as you first.
We had an awesome chat, she complimented my leopard print sweater and matching sunglasses. We talked about NYC weather and climate change (by this time it had gotten cold compared to start of the day), we talked about her commuting from California to NYC and which did she prefer, where I lived, we chatted about nutty politics lol. When her stop was coming up we said our goodbyes, smiled and waved and she was gone. Just like that and as they say...in a New York minute.
The rest of my ride home I smiled, listened to Maxwell's Blacksummers' night album and closed my eyes. What a day, what an adventure, what a blessing, what a Gift all in a New York Minute.
Always stress free xo.