When I am open to the experience, New York City surprises my senses. The spring sun slips between buildings to kiss my cheeks and bright yellow daffodils dance in light breezes that waft the fragrance of bold-blue hyacinths across my path.
After a short hike on 41st Street from The Port Authority, I am greeted at the entry of Bryant Park by the original models for Scotland’s Helix Parkland Kelpies. Barely noticeable at the base of the sculpture is man, gazing up the massive neck of the horse.
These models are one-tenth the size of the actual 100-foot tall sculptures, yet even in their ‘miniature’ form they dominate the restaurant in the background.
At the NYC Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the exhibit of children’s books transports me to my childhood. My literary time-travel includes a visit to A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle and A Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I am reminded of wrapping my children in the warmth of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon. As I stroll past beloved stories, I am accompanied by the harmonious voices of the Chapel Choir of Exeter College, Oxford England. As a capstone, I enjoy a delightful conversation with author Garrett Robinson (@garrettrobinso1).
Sipping coffee in MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn, children on scooters dart like fireflies among the trees and benches, the sound of their young voices mingling with the drone of constant traffic.
Behind the children, in the shadows cast by the setting sun, the colorful sculptures of Katharina Grosse’s “Just Two of Us”, attract my eye with graffiti colors.
NYC is a vibrant adventure, but the same sensory experiences that envelop me in a day’s pleasure, sap my strength when experienced for too long.
I look to the simpler greens, grays, and blues of my home for comfort; to the soft scent of pine, wood smoke, and wet leaves. I seek the sound of loons calling to their mates; the splash of otters playing; the bark of a fox.
But for a single, sunny spring day I experienced the vitality and richness that is NYC at its finest. And it was good.