My evening walks are legendary. I freely walk the streets of New York. With a comfortable pair of sneakers and an iPod full of tunes, I have many amazing and whimsical moments while strolling the pavements.
There’s the jazz band serenading pedestrians in the Village. Fur, real and faux dominating the narrow & gritty sidewalks of the East Village. The smell of hot dogs, street meat and chestnuts dominate the corporate landscape of Union Square. While on the Upper West Side, older intellectual types stroll stylishly, seeking the next great opera performance at Lincoln Center.
Then there are the walks out of necessity. Trying to save a couple bucks a month, I decided to walk from my apartment in the east 20’s to work in Midtown(I’ve always taken the subway to the office). Everything was quite charming.
There were old senior citizens off for their morning bagel & coffee. School kids rushing from the perfectly manicured apartment blocks of Gramercy Park. New Yorkers rushing in and out of the subway, making their way into office buildings in the shadow of Grand Central Station. However, I loved the feeling of quickly arriving at work, rather than taking a leisurely stroll.
Therefore, I buckled down & bought a metro card. My first day not walking reminded that “wow, the subway is really a sardine can.” However, nothing could prepare me for what happened next. After grabbing the L train and transferring to the 4 express train at Union Square, The unthinkable happened. “Oh no, I am on a downtown train. I am supposed to go uptown to Grand Central.”
I was secretly hoping that the doors would open and could escape quickly. However, as the train pulled away, I huffed and puffed. I was nervous about running late. After all, I’ve never been tardy for anything (ok, not including Spanish class one time in high school). My breathing intensified. I got a couple of stares, as I appeared to be giving birth to a proper meltdown.
In order to keep myself in happy, pretend “I am strolling the West Village mood,” I used my secret relaxation tool. Pop music has always put a smile on my face. Hence, to make my life campier than a Doris Day movie, I actually played Taylor Swift on my iPod.
I don’t know any of her songs. There’s one song of hers I adore. So, I drifted away into a world of poppy land, where stress only occurs after breaking up with an insanely hot guy. Slowly, I felt less intense.
After a couple unexpected stops on the express train to Brooklyn Bridge, I finally arrived at the subway station. I quickly changed trains and made my way back to Union Square, where my journey began. Not only did I make it to work on time, I re-discovered the beauty of cheesy music. My new life motto, rock out to cheesy pop tunes, it’ll take the stress always.