After being in NYC for awhile, it takes leaving it to appreciate it.
I've been wanting to write this update all week. From the moment I stepped out onto Orchard Street and into the City on Monday morning after we flew back from Arizona; with the city smells of Chinese food and piles of trash accepting us back with open arms. We woke up on Monday after spending a week in the desert and honestly, I missed this. I missed it all.
We drove into NYC on Sunday night after landing in Newark. The direction we came from was South East—passed Dumbo and the clock tower; over the bridge and alongside the buildings of the financial district. They were so close, we could touch them if we just took the time to roll down the window and stick our hands out far enough. Coming back, the temperature had finally dropped and the air cut the skin with its chill as we sped on into the City. Home again—back into this powerful place.
And that's exactly what we uttered as we drove passed Tom Fruin's stained glass water tower—just before we passed all those FiDi buildings. "What a powerful place New York City is..."
There are some people, like Aviv, who appreciate the City's magnificence each and every day. And then there are people like me, who allow ourselves to forget. I've been here so long that it takes leaving this place to appreciate it again. I'm sure those of you living in big urban centers know the feeling.
When you think about it—just being alive is a minimalist exercise all in itself:
- Finding new ways to live in the moment in that place you call home
- Feeling satisfied and re-satisfied by what you already possess there
- Noticing nuance—or, what many "minimalists" out there are calling "tricking yourself" into seeing familiar things in a new way—instead of feeding that desire you might have to acquire new possessions
And then again, being a fashion and tech capital in the world—New York City is the antithesis of minimalism; one of the most powerful places for consumerism out there, actually! But man, with all that space out in places like Arizona—where houses are immense and there's land to build on for days, I still argue that NYC is a sound place to practice a minimalist lifestyle, or at least to get by with less.
On that note, last weekend, we received messages from about 10 different friends regarding the "Our Year of Living Airbnb" article, which appeared in the NY Times.
Great minds think alike, right? And here's proof that there's value in swapping possessions for experiences every once in awhile. By reducing your physical footprint and becoming more mobile, you have the opportunity to move anywhere with ease—even monthly in NYC—experiencing every neighborhood's vibe and culture. We still think it's such a worthwhile idea.
For now, though, life is still really good on the LES—and we still have a lot to "minimize"—both physically and mentally—before we make the next move.
Stay tuned! And have a powerful weekend, all!