The New York Paradox: Cotton-Ball Head and Renewed Energy


Again, this post originally has a pub date of Wednesday, or Thursday, or I-don’t-know-what-day-anymore. I underestimated the effect of the cold I picked up somewhere between LaGuardia and Trudeau.


I landed in Winnipeg with a stuffed head, plugged ears, and a carry-on full of ticket stubs/signed playbill/brochures. Fortunately, I live within walking distance of Superstore, enabling me to buy decongestants (I could have taken one before my flight!? Now you tell me?!), some yogurt, and a bagged salad to assemble. I did not touch my luggage except to take the mementos out and placed them in a designated notebook.

The original plan: Sleep and do laundry on my day off on Tuesday.

Reality: Sweat out cold and sleep on Tuesday. Call in sick at 4:30 am to leave a message at work to say I am not coming in. (My voice sounded like I yelled non-stop, alternating between scratchy and squeaky. So much for sounding like Scarlett Johansen.)

Today I spent some time recounting some of my adventures in New York. My boss remarked New York just gives you this energy to get out and do things. I have to admit a little of that go-go-go remained in me. I felt aware of the space around me in Winnipeg. The sidewalks seem roomy, the buildings on Portage and Main spaced far apart, the early morning was not teeming with people as they catch the bus.

My first New York mission was getting a Metrocard and learning the subway. Walking got me to a few places, but if I don’t want my legs to fall off I better learn the difference between an uptown 6 and a Times Square Shuttle. I went out on a Wednesday morning, the middle of the workweek, not before climbing to one of the grand balconies of Grand Central Terminal. I have hurried to work, ran to catch a bus, but nothing compares to the waves of people trying to catch a subway, or getting off a subway, on their way to work.


Image: Fatima DeMelo (Feb 17, 2016)

The kind people at the Apple store, the east balcony’s current tenant, allowed me to stay simply to snap a photo and take in the scene. While I travelled solo on this trip, in reality, I didn’t feel alone. Thanks to technology people went with me while I deal with the common question of how the heck do I get there? Sometimes I had to put down my phone and just soak in the present. I wanted to experience New York not just one attraction after another. I experienced New York through the lenses of television, movies, and, of course, books.

Now it’s time to experience the city through my lens. This post will not stand as the final word on the trip. Besides this place never has the last word, only a new chapter borough by borough.





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