Island time and the urban jungle

28th Street, New York City, October 13th, 2015

28th Street, New York City, October 13th, 2015

So I spent the last few days in New York City for a photo shoot.

As usual, I flew into Laguardia, the little airport that could. I prefer Laguardia mostly because it’s the quickest way to the Lower East Side, where I typically stay. But I also like its location right on the water. Flying into Laguardia is a good reminder that New York City is, indeed, an island.

Despite the rising popularity of tiki bars here, the Lower East Side won’t be showing up in many Buffett songs any time soon. But still, the city moves to its own rhythms, just like any upstanding island. Every day fresh fruit and fish and flowers make their early morning way from harbors to local markets. You can feel, or sometimes just sense, the subways underfoot; a rolling rumble much like big water against rocky shores. And thanks to a ridiculously warm October, the bars and cafés here remain wide open to the street, existing in that perfectly unfolded inside/outside state that feels exotic regardless of latitude.

I don’t know. My love for places south of the border, and south of 14th Street, have always seemed at odds. Straight-up conflicted even. But I do know that, in both places, when I’m there I’m entirely there – supremely focused and actively engaged with the world I’m within.

I know, too, that on every flight home I’m thinking “I’ve got to bring some of that attitude back with me.”