Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Manhattan musings.

For the first time, there I was. Standing in the middle of Manhattan's Madison Avenue. Flanked by rows and rows of towering buildings, all cultivated through decades of advertising greatness. Wondering what stories the infamous street quietly harbored.

Throughout Manhattan, commerce is king and appearance is everything. Souls are stirred and whims are encouraged. You could be anybody. Or nobody. Shifting, blending or reinventing at will. 

In the city, anonymity is inevitable. Off the grid while at the center of it. Alone in the crowd. Solitarily connected. 

I could feel the city's energy. It was a rumbling undercurrent, tugging at my sleeve like an impatient child. A constant stream of culture and curiosity, haphazardly forcing my gaze.

The city lives outside the walls of their small-yet-expensive apartments. I imagine life in the thick of that advertising epicenter. How the greats toiled away through the night—likely finding camaraderie with the city that, like them, never slept.

Like most things pitted against imagination, the dream is better than the reality—though the reality is an amazing sea of inspiration. It's really about clinging to what the city famously represents—the dream of endless possibilities. I'll happily keep that with me. Right where I am.

[ I will be following up with some posts inspired by the 99u conference.]

In the middle of Manhattan. In the middle of Madison Avenue. In the middle of the day.

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  1. I went to Manhattan and Brooklyn for a week over this past New Year's. It was my first time there too, and I thought about a lot of the same things.

    Especially that strange feeling you mention of being in the center of seemingly everything, and yet directly connected to nothing at all.

    One minute I'd feel like I was on the observer side of a one-way glass cell that life flowed obliviously around, and the next I would feel like an essential part of some ultimate human machine.

    I liked the city even in light of the somewhat brain-bullying stimuli. And I really like your description of it.

    1. So glad you could relate! Like you said, it's a unique mix of connection and disconnection. Thanks so much for your amazing descriptions and perspectives.

  2. Wonderful post and way of describing the city. I've lived here for two years now, and these words really "hit home", so to speak. I think I like the feeling of being in the middle of everything, but with the ability to keep my anonymity if I want. It's true that some of the biggest cities can also be some of the loneliest.

    1. So true! It's an interesting juxtaposition, that ability to be part of something while by yourself.