You always feel the most human in New York City.
I had a few margaritas with my friends and found myself singing “Stand By Me” with a bunch of strangers while waiting for the L train. The platform is a melting pot of various walks of life and out-of-tune harmonies. But that doesn’t matter. I feel like I’ve never felt more alive. Just pure, raw, authentic emotions coursing through so many people simultaneously is something that should be celebrated. I believe when people ask, “Why did you move to NYC?” this is the reason I’m obligated to give. The fact that I can unapologetically be myself is the sole reason I live in The Big Apple.
I’m smiling through my face mask and absorbing the energy of MY city. I belt out, “OOOOHHHH STAND, BYYYYY ME! OHHHHH STANNNDDDD, BYYYE MEEE.” A black girl with long dreads sitting on a white upside-down Home Depot bucket strums her guitar and belts Ben E. King’s lyrics into the New York City night. I don’t feel judged or ridiculed as I look around at the others who have joined me, including my group of friends as we all say goodbye to one another and depart for the night – our hair billowing in the wind from the passing trains.
Oddly enough, it was natural. I felt connected to so many strangers at one time that I thought, “how can this be real life?” Or rather, “how can this be such an amazing life?” In this city, I’m constantly reminded that it’s these little moments that truly matter.