The New York City grind is real. It’s always been here and forever will be. The constant and consistent high energy can be felt from Battery Park all the way to the Bronx. It’s around you. It envelops you. It becomes you.
It’s easy to become succumbed to the fast pace life around you. Walk too fast, and you bump into others. Walk too slow, and others run you over. There is no middle ground. Footsteps stomp around on the streets, sidewalks and subway platforms as if it was the heartbeat to the city itself. So as a result, you become one of the two. I become the rusher. I don’t’ want to be the rusher though. My anxiety can only take so much. But there I am finding myself rushing to every single place I go. I miss nearly everything around me as I text and talk on the phone simultaneously. I always arrive really early to my destination then I need to but it becomes difficult for me to take my time while I commute. I can’t help myself but to become like every person around me rushing. I rush off the train, I rush up the stairs, I rush on the subway, I rush off the subway, I rush three blocks to work……and then I end up at my building 30 minutes ahead of time with nothing to do. It pays to be early but I don’t have to be early everywhere I go.
“Footsteps stomp around on the streets, sidewalks and subway platforms as if it was the heartbeat to the city itself.”
Lately, I’ve been changing the way I commute around New York City. If a subway car is over packed, I don’t try to squeeze in anymore, I’ll now wait. If I get somewhere early, I’ll find the closest coffee shop with a window seat to people watch my fellow New Yorkers.
People watching is one of my favorite things to do in the city. I’ve learned quite a bit by simply observing and without communicating to any of them. I don’t judge, I just observe. It’s empowering when you observe how people from all over the world interact and communicate in so many different ways. I’ve seen people from all over the world express all types of emotions by putting them full display for other people to see. This ranges from smiling, being upset, crying and kissing and to everything else in-between. It’s quite humbling honestly. I will always see people taking pictures of random things in the streets. I used to ignore them all. Now i’ll turn around and try to see what moment in time they are trying to capture and hold on with them for the rest of their lives.
The other day I watched a couple kiss as they split apart after lunch. She walked away and so did he. Then the man stopped and turned around after a few steps to watch his girl continue to walk out of his sight. He stood dead center in the middle of the sidewalk for a very long 30 seconds until she was gone. I noticed that she never looked back for one last glance.
“With one step at time, we move forward and onward. Onward with our lives, our dreams, our goals and aspirations, because in New York City, the grind never stops.”
What was he thinking? Is he happy? Was he upset she never looked back? Was that his wife? A Tinder date? Tons of these questions populate my head consistently wondering what everybody’s story is and how they got to where they are today. Yet every single day I pass by thousands off people I will never see again. They just keep on going and keep on grinding, and so do I. With one step at time, we move forward and onward. Onward with our lives, our dreams, our goals and aspirations, because in New York City, the grind never stops.