Friday, December 03, 2010

reverb10 day 3 - one moment

Today's reverb10 prompt, from the lovely Ali Edwards:

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

One of the things I love about reverb10 is it really makes you look back at your year in detail – and makes you remember things you might otherwise have forgotten. I’ve been taken to checking to see if the prompt is posted before I go out walking in the morning, and then leaving my iPod off and contemplating what I am going to write while I’m out in the freezing cold.

A few ideas came to mind for this prompt, but the one I will talk about today happened during a three-day trip to NYC earlier this year for a conference. Living in Connecticut and having the job I do, I am lucky to be able to go to New York at least a few times a year. But I always go with someone – coworkers, friends, Greg, my mom – there is always someone hitting the streets with me. So while I have some familiarity with the midtown area and how to get from one place to the next, there is always someone to navigate with me (although, seriously, it’s not that hard – I just have a terrible sense of direction. And, did I mention, when I go to New York it nearly ALWAYS rains? Do not plan to go to the city with me if you hate rain).

On the second night of the conference I attended this spring, I was simply exhausted. I had all-day conference activities, went to two shows, and by the time I hit the after-show party around 11 p.m., I was shot (I know, I know, poor me). So instead of waiting for my friend, I went back to the hotel room by myself.

It was only a 10-minute walk or so, but it was the first time I had been in Times Square, by myself, in the middle of the night. You know how they say New York is the city that doesn’t sleep? Seriously, it doesn’t. The weather was actually beautiful for once, nice and warm, there were loads of people out, and the marquees and billboards flashing and blinking created so much light it hardly felt light midnight. I stopped at a foot cart, got a pretzel (is there any pretzel better than the one you get on the street in New York? NO), and wandered slowly back. For someone who is rarely alone, who, between work and home and life has a constant to-do list of responsibilities, It was a truly awesome, freeing moment – despite the fact I was in the middle of city of 9 million people.

I dare anyone not to feel alive in Times Square.


Brad said...

I know exactly what you mean. I travel extensively for work and there's nothing like strolling at night through NY or hitting Shibuya Crossing on a Friday night (A most incredible experience).

Flann said...

I completely agree with this.

My senior year of high school, some dorky fellow X-Files fan friends and I got a couple of hotel rooms and converged on NYC for a weekend to do nerdy things and watch that season's finale together. I still very clearly remember one night we had a late dinner and went bowling in Chelsea somewhere. It was after midnight when we headed back to our hotel in Times Square and it was still so alive. Shops were open, people were out. It was awesome and everything a vacation should be.