In Japan, there was this sweet Korean girl that I worked with. One day, she came to the office wearing a black t-shirt that said, “maybe love is in New York City.” I asked her if she had been to New York before and she said, no. But ever since she was little, the Frank Sinatra tune had her fantasizing about this life in the concrete jungle.
And now I am moving to New York City and that has me thinking, maybe love is in New York City.
This sort of romanticism for the city might trigger some eye rolls. After all, falling in love with the city is one of the biggest clichés to seasoned New Yorkers.
But it’s hard to believe that in the beginning, they didn’t feel the same butterflies that I am feeling right now.
Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about that girl-meets-boy kind of love.
I’m talking about falling in love with how the city is littered with lights, treasures and hidden havens and how you appreciate them even more when you stumble upon them unexpectedly. The fact that you can explore all five Burroughs and feel as if you have traveled the world. And how on a brisk walk you stop and realize there is nothing more powerful or captivating than a story. You then realize that you’re surrounded by millions of stories and the world instantly feels like magic.
It’s falling in love with the never-ending seduction of skyscrapers and how the buildings are like faces that line the parade of hustling people—both hindering and highlighting each other. The way every being has an agenda, even the pigeons are collaborating around the park benches. It’s loving how people exchange stargazing for soul-searching. And just how the summer cools to autumn and the leaves crinkle and fall— it’s always change, triumph and resilience.
It’s loving how it’s a city of dreamers, yet no one has time to slow down. It’s a place where humans are relentless in their pace and altering time to the point where they are making moments fly faster than they seem they should. But fleeting time can inspire you to be who you truly are, because there’s no time for bullshit. It’s a reason to shed that disguise of perceived perfection— to quit pretending and to live your life as your real, flawed self.
It’s the love for the unpredictable. That sense that every time you step foot in a subway you may come across a grand revelation or that each person you encounter may be the twist to the next chapter of your story. When there is so much uncertainty and so much to discover, you can’t help but feel that your next zing is just a breath away.
It’s that love that not only gives, but expects more of you. It’s that gritty kind of love. The love that may leave you feeling raw and weathered, but eventually you feel capable. Because the dawn of every day brings about a fresh start. There is concrete possibility everywhere.