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New York City has been an icon for centuries.  The place to “make it” and the place to be seen if you have made it.  But for the rest of us, NYC is definitely a state of mind.

The cool thing is that YOU decide if it is your state of mind.    

With more than 8,244,910 million people living in New York City in an area of only 305 square miles, space is at a premium.  Forget about personal space…when you want to get on the subway to or from Yankee Stadium, for example, it turns into a game of how many more can squeeze on before the door can’t close.  And believe me, once that bell sounds and the metal tube starts rocking down the tracks, you are surrounded by strangers who are literally breathing the same air as you.

Not fun if you are claustrophobic, but fascinating if you love people watching.

Times Square is another great venue for mingling with your fellow homo sapiens, except the folks are from all over the world.  Strange sounds issue between them, as they communicate in languages that are not even taught in the local schools.  And you better not hesitate in walking purposefully, because you will be road kill in an instant.  It’s enough to drive a polite Texas girl crazy, but I love the energy of the place too much to get upset.

Again, it’s a New York state of mind.

Leaving the Minskoff Theatre after singing “Hakuna Matata” during a magical Lion King performance, it stared raining.  Umbrellas quickly blossomed and we learned a new way to walk – the duck and roll.  When a mass of people are coming toward you with open umbrellas, you have to immediately judge whether your eyes or your face are in immediate danger of laceration.  It keeps you limber and hastens your step to the nearest cozy haven to wait it out.

Turns out, Carmine’s is a favorite place to duck out of the rain for a lot of folks!  After hearing the wait for a table was two hours, we had a decision to make. Would we get upset and angry, or find a quiet spot and enjoy watching people in the rain?  Our New York state of mind matured quickly and we even discovered that dinner could be ordered as take out, but still enjoyed at the small pub table we snared.

With so many opportunities to get annoyed or angry, the people who call NYC home must be experts on releasing and letting go.  Perhaps the infinite variety of food, Broadway plays, small bars or cozy bistros helps elevate their mood.  Or the magical beauty of the city as dusk falls, hiding the dirt and trash until tomorrow.  Or the everlasting promise of Lady Liberty guiding the poor and downtrodden to the shore of hope and the land of plenty.

However they do it…I commend them for their patience, politeness and willingness to help out a visitor from the Lone Star State enjoy her first stay in the Big Apple.


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