Besides being a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie from the early 2000s, a New York minute is defined as an instant, a moment or a very short period of time. Example: “Their Jerry Springer-esque relationship lasted a New York minute.” Or, “I’ll be over there in a New York minute.” I’ve found myself thinking about the phrase more often since I’ve recently been feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on my to-do list. It got me thinking about how much time we spend checking our cell phones, rushing from place to place, and working through our lunch breaks, only stopping to shovel food in to our mouths while our eyes remain locked on a computer screen. Let’s be honest, we all-too-often scroll through blogs and internet articles without ever really taking anything in or click through page after page of Facebook posts. It’s become not about what you’re doing, but how much you’re doing.
I spent this past Saturday with my good friend, Carlos, who was visiting New York for the very first time from California. After a very busy week at work and many rushed moments, showing off this amazing city was exactly what I needed. I played tour guide and took him all over the city. One of the best parts? Carlos didn’t want to know what we were doing next. He was just happy to be in New York. He didn’t care about a schedule or checking destinations off a list. There was no sense of being rushed or the New York minute we talked about earlier. He wanted to experience every moment as it was happening. And what was really amazing was that I suddenly started to see and feel things differently too. After being bumped by one too many people on the subway and enduring the worst winter in my life thus far, I’d sort of forgotten how wonderful and breathtaking New York can really be.
The day was full of laughter, Harry Potter jokes (of course) and tons of smiles. Some of the many highlights of our day included visiting the 9-11 Memorial, walking along the Hudson River to see the Statue of Liberty, getting caught in the middle of a peaceful protest on the Brooklyn Bridge and being pulled in to a hip-hop street performance. No first visit to New York would be complete though without barbecue pork buns in China Town, trekking over to Artichoke Pizza for some of the best pizza in NYC, and seeing the sun set from the Top of the Rock.
I wish I could explain how wonderful the day was, but I really do believe that some of the best things in life cannot be described in words. Some things are meant to just be experienced and lived. We can all use a good friend to remind us of that every once in a while. My challenge for you? Plan a small stay-cation for the weekend and be a tourist in your own city. I think you’ll be surprised at what you find and all the little treasures and moments you’ve been missing.