Escaping the hustle in New York City
I barely hesitated when I made the decision to move to New York. After all, I had spent my childhood in Brooklyn, my college years in Boston, and all the time in between in a small town in Northern New Jersey, from which the city was only a short bus ride away. Though never permanent, New York had always been my home, always a place where alleyways elicited the same wonderment in me as the arches and gardens, a place of endless exploration, trailing where the light fell.
Little did I know, living your day-to-day life in one of the busiest cities in the world is not nearly as magical as one might think. In fact, it’s rather complex. Every normal routine, whether you’re going to get groceries or taking a yoga class or just trying to get to work, somehow becomes a momentous excursion. Lines wrap around every aisle, you get caught in the subway doors because you’re essentially flinging yourself into a car that neither wants you nor has room for you, and when you lay your head down on the yoga mat after a long day, you suddenly realize that a very hairy stranger, and his abundance of sweat, is about two inches away from you. Sometimes it is hard to breathe here – nothing is ever quite the volume or pace or the texture you’d like it to be.
That’s exactly why, over the past few years, I’ve made it a goal to discover pockets of oasis across the city, not just dimly lit coffee shops with comfortable seating and candles for ambiance, but concealed places with enough green and water and air not riddled with car exhaust to make you feel like a person again. Places that didn’t feel like New York. After all, it’s not like you can always throw caution to the wind, purchase a ticket, and be on the first plane west. You should be able to find some sort of peace within your surroundings, and you usually can if you’re patient enough to look.