I do like this city.
It's the small, daily experiences that encourage this affection--the details of our lives here. Admittedly, I choose to overlook some of the less appealing details, the rough edges of the city. Still, there are some great things about living here that probably wouldn't show up in the tourist guides. Here are a few that I've found in the last few days:
- Catch the Flava: The business savvy Delicioso Coco Helado vendors that situate themselves on the bus stop corners. Helado is a sorbet-type dessert that is indeed muy tasty. I go for the coconut, while Jonathan prefers mango and Chloe chooses the politically correct rainbow flavor. And it's only a dollar (which, you know, goes a long way in my book).
- Do you Smell Horses?: The Riding Academy up the Street (aka The Barn in the Building). It's quite incongruous, really. The stables are located in a residential area, and you don't even realize that they're there until you get a whiff of something and peer back into the building. Every once in a while you'll see a horse and rider emerge and clop down the street, the cars and buses wheeling by. And if the breeze is just right, I'm reminded of the summer 4H fair in Lowell, which is a welcome memory.
- Stand up, Sit down, Fight, Fight, Fight!: Subway Seating Courtesy. Riding the subway during rush hour can be a bear. Assertiveness is a valuable asset then, when sometimes there is literally not room for one more person on the train. However, when I travel with the kids, people are usually good about making room for them to sit down. Even at the busiest times, they'll give up their seats for them. It's a small thing, but it makes my life easier, and it's refreshing to see the evidence of the good in people.
- Butterfly Lesson: The Man in the Perrenial Garden. A few nights ago we were walking through Riverside Park with the kids when we noticed a man with a butterfly net walking through a perrenial garden area that is maintained by volunteers. When we saw him catch a Monarch, we asked him what he was going to do with it. The kind man showed us how he tags the butterflies with a small sticker here in the city, so that scientists can study migration patterns as the butterflies meander to Mexico for the winter. He held up the butterfly for Chloe to inspect, and then opened his hand with a flourish to release it. We all watched it wing away, our imaginations following it when our eyes no longer could.
You know, you really should come to visit so you can see these things for yourselves. I'd like to show them to you.