New Yorkers are generally pretty proud of their city. It is home to some of the finest live entertainment in the world. It gave birth to some of the modern art movements. It is the home to people from all over the globe. NYC houses many fine collects of art and art museums. The architecture is both beautiful and innovative.
Entertainment abounds in NYC. We arrived in time for the Columbus Day parade. Broadway was closed off for a big party with street musicians, magicians and street performers of every kind.
We found crowds everywhere. The streets were crowded with busses and taxis. The sidewalks were crowded with a press of people all wanting to be somewhere other than where they were.
Lights flashed everywhere creating a constant show of moving color, while the noise of traffic, people, emergency vehicles and construction combined with the street musicians to create a continual concert of urban music. Or so one from New York might see their city, and it is as I have described.
I also saw that those lights screamed at the passerby to buy buy buy. That was the message of the millions of lights and signs—buy. I think the noise temporarily damaged my sensitive hearing. By the time we left the city, I couldn’t hear anything anybody said to me. While eating establishments graced every corner, I longed for some good, crisp, affordable vegetables. Instead of a plate of veggies I might receive two asparagus spears and a leaf of lettuce. This is not how we eat at home.
While upper Manhattan was quieter than mid and lower town, the sense of people crowded together pressed in on me. The wealthy residents of uptown did not appear on the streets as did their poorer neighbors. I had an image of them huddled in their elegant high rises still breathing but distaining the great outdoors, or perhaps they were too important and busy to be outside on a beautiful day.
What a relief to return home to my own little acre of ground. My noisiest neighbors are the birds in the trees. There is nothing elegant or majestic here, unless one considers the hundred foot fir trees that tower into the sky, absorbing noise and giving off lovely oxygen that only I am near enough to breathe.
Ah, it is good to be home! I very much suspect that my brothers and sisters who enjoy the sights and sounds of their crowded city would not appreciate my birds and trees. Perhaps they would not consider wealth as having a whole acre all to myself. In the end, we are all inclined to see our own home as best and those things that make it unique as being valuable. The wisdom I took away from my experience in New York is that even someone who lives a very different lifestyle is still my brother or sister. They communicate by speaking. They look at their world through human eyes. They smile and laugh. We are alike in these ways.