Autumn in New York

The pinnacle weeks of fall have been brushed away by winds that make my office windows quiver and chill me at my desk, but I'm still in the glow of my favorite time in the city.


I realized a week ago as I walked home, probably carrying dry cleaning, a bag of onions and milk, and my empty lunch containers, that I can't imagine living anywhere else right now.


Considering that many moons over the East River ago I couldn't sleep for the noise, I couldn't breathe for the dust, and I clenched against the masses of people, this is something. It's something I thought would come someday, but it is still a sweet gift that it is here. In Iceland, I couldn't sleep for the quiet; New York is home.


There's some new art in the park below our building. Yo, Brooklyn!


Every day I laugh, I'm amazed, and I am grateful that all these other people want to live here too because New York is beautiful because of the people, all rushing on the streets and under the city in trains. Sometimes they cut to the front of the platform when there's a crowd, but mostly I am small and watch them. The old man next to me on the subway offers me a hard candy twice (no, thanks). The nurse stops to talk to me about Thanksgiving plans at the end of her shift. The doctor pauses his intense questioning to tell me about his favorite Scholastic magazine. The co-worker passes on the escalators in the opposite direction and starts a quick, kind conversation. The man (my favorite one) opens the door when my arms are full of groceries and gives me a long hug.


It's that time of year when New York gets twinkly and I leave my office in the dark. I long for quiet evenings, but they seem to be jammed instead with holiday festivities and concerts. But right now, before all that really kicks in, this is my ode to autumn and the kindness it has brought me here.