March 15, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

January 2010*

I am grateful for tourists. 

No, not because they walk so slow and take up the entire sidewalk.  No, not because they come in droves and block every turnstile to get onto the subway.  And, no, not because they talk really loud on a full train about how rude New Yorkers are.

Why do I love tourists?!  Because they remind me how amazingly wonderful this city is.  They walk slowly, looking up, gazing at all the great sites and huge buildings.  There is a bit of innocence, reverence, awe that they study their maps, check their guide books and are too scared to ask anyone for help.  They get completely confused by the subway system.  They view the city through a camera lens because it is such a photogenic city.

As I see these annoying enthralled tourists enjoying the city (and all its awesomeness) I remember.  I remember my innocence.  The way my heart would beat faster and my senses awaken every morning when I would step outside my apartment building.  I remember how every neighborhood, street, and corner held new treasures.  How I studied subway and bus maps daily.  And snapped mental photos of cabbies fighting in busy intersections.  And how I was in awe of tiny grocery stores with merchandise stacked perfectly to the ceiling.

I love New York City and I'm so glad the tourists remind me how awesome it is to live here!

*Something I can't quite comprehend is that New York City is completely normal to my kids.  This is their life, their home, the only way they have lived.
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