It's a necessary evil of living in New York - and probably any city, really - that sometimes you have to go to the centre of town, and do battle with all that resides there - the tourists making the most of the holiday buzz, and the workers just trying to get through their day, and the chuggers hitting you up for a monthly donation, or a one-off donation, or anything you can spare, or just your address, so they can send you more information, and is that really too much to ask*? I had to do this today, and I was very much in two minds about it. On the one hand, I'm still getting over my cold, and my energy levels are not even close to the norm. On the other hand, I had spent the last two days wandering around the close confines of my apartment, sniffling and sneezing. I was ready for some fresh air.
So underground and onto the subway went I**, ready to attend a meeting, meet H1 for a quick coffee***, and finish the very last of my Christmas shopping. I was ready for a bit of a battle - a feeling only heightened by the fact that everyone else on the subway had the same cold as me, but in the early, loud, contagious stages - and as I raced through the crowds I felt my shoulders steadily tensing, until they didn't.
I mentioned before how good New York is at Christmas. Well, the Upper West Side is definitely pretty awesome, but for sheer spectacle, Midtown is where it's at. Especially on a glorious day. Especially when, sure, you've got lots to do, but nothing that can't wait an hour or two. Especially when there's Christmas music playing, and everything is sparkling, and even the police seem to be in a good mood.
On a day like this, nobody's going to mind if you slow it down, just a little, and quickly snap some photos. Not even tomorrow you, who has to knock out a few extra hours of work to make up for the slackness of today you. Not even the business people trying to get their business done****. Nobody. Make the most of it.
*Yes, is the answer, because you end up on countless mailing lists. Because I have previously spontaneously donated to Save the Children and the Red Cross, I get the truly sad entreaties for cash, whereas H1 gets hit up for money for parks, galleries, and theatres, because he is the one who always buys our ballet tickets. We must fit an interesting charity marketing profile.
**Fresh air was the end game, not something that was going to happen immediately.
***Even though it's generally at lunchtime, and we both work pretty much for ourselves, it still feels like we're wagging whenever we get the chance to have a sneaky daytime date, and is all the better for it.
****Although, theory not really tested. Get out of the way and then slow it down, just to be sure.