New York is different to our normal daily scenes, there's a frequent soundtrack of sirens and in every direction your eyes are confronted with clutter and structure; there's a constant pulse in this city. We woke early for our first day in New York City, eager to start exploring. Starting nearby to Times Square, the bright lights of advertising appear to epitomize the popular culture of our generation, they are fast changing, showing enough to lure you and leave you wanting more, and they are all surrounding, catching your sight even on the peripherals. This is how we engage these days.
No matter where we are, my favourite places to visit are always the book stores, especially secondhand bookstores. Today we lost hours between Barnes and Noble at Union Square and The Strand on Broadway. I'm on the look out for a new book to read, and picked up Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. I've come across her on the internet a bit lately, so seeing one of her books evoked a curiosity to scan its pages.
I choose to write because of the countless times that words have yoked with my circumstances, the meaning of my situation has been found in the definition of words, and often unexpectedly my case makes sense. When sitting in a bookstore this morning, I was three floors up and where large window panes framed a view of the Union Square Famers Markets. Settled on a metal chair I was consumed by the words of Joan Didion. An unapologetic recollection of her memories and emotions surrounding her husband's death left me gutted, and feeling sick as I imagined her circumstances unfold, a time of inescapable sadness. The backdrop of New York City brought her words near as I imagined the events being just blocks away. After the first three chapters, I returned to the book to the shelf, inspired by her bold use of language, and a prowess determined not to back down on the raw elements of truth.
We walked out of the store through the farmers markets and bought a hot cup of apple cider to warm our hands (and in my case my heart). This city is filled with more stories than I'll ever know, littered with hope, disappointment, joy and grief. And somewhere through the streets of it all, I'm glad we're here to impress our own microscopic narrative into the concrete paths we tread.