Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New York Beginnings

My transition to America begins in New York, a city similar in population density, and yet very, very different from Japan.  There are still seas of people in the subway stations and exchanges, yet this sea is one of pushing and pulling currents.  Everyone is so much much larger, their steps are so much stronger, their volition so much more assured.  There are garbage cans everywhere and yet still so much litter.   We walked and walked today.  Thirty blocks north to get some furniture, 90 blocks south for an adventure.  We stopped in a Hungarian bakery, got some free lemonade from a lemonade stand closing down, went through Central Park, and Hell's Kitchen, and Chelsea and along the Highline which walks above the streets.  We then descended to an Italian restaurant which claimed to have the best brick-oven pizza in New York.  Well, why would we go anywhere else?

Everyone is so different here that, as my mother put it, there is no point of reference for judgement.  In my Tae Kwon Do practice in Riverside Park this morning there were many friendly dogs and apologetic owners but no one cared at all that I was there.  Everyone seems focused on themselves.

photo bombing at St. John the Divine

walk along Central Park West

Columbus Circle

cranes rising 

"New Yorker"

Layers of the City

train tracks


Group effort lego project


23rd Street

I will be traveling to various points in the states in the coming months before finally settling in this incredible city.  I've yet to determine how to frame the coming experience of living here.  What will this come to mean, how will Japan frame what I see and how I respond?  This is a new chapter and the context is still unclear.  Hopefully in the next few days I will come to an understanding of how I might represent this return to America as it fades into a newly defined life.

I remember before I moved to Japan that a friend asked me to reflect on the reasons I was going so that I could reference them in times of challenge.  And perhaps now is another chance to reflect on the why of the next chapter.  It is still so undefined.  Perhaps in the next month something will start to form as I shake of the jetlag and awaken in America a little more fully.

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