New York Leap Year

Posted in Monthly at 8:01 pm by Pasha

While I was getting down in The Big Apple with my BFF, someone back home in Chicago was being as thoughtful as ever–he saved a Leap Year page on my blog so it would be here when I got home.

So, what does a person say about one day that happens only every four years? Is it a tag-along day, the 29th, that is an outsider to the month of February … a red-headed stepchild, shunned until necessary? Or is it a special day because it only makes an appearance once every four years? Talk about staying out of the spotlight!

For me the 29th is sort of unique and valued. It is an extra day that I have to spend in any sort of fashion that I want. This year, I spent my extra day in my old stomping grounds, New York City. And while it felt great to have girl’s time with Jill and the gang, it was an eye-opening trip for me.

After taxiing for a few hours at O’Hare and normal rugamaroo of flying, I landed at JFK Airport and excitedly took the new Airtrain into the Jamaica Subway Station. Awesome transport to an otherwise pain-in-the-butt airport. I was pleasantly surprised!

But on the train I noticed the glum faces of New Yorkers, and remembered how it used to be. I remember being miserable sometimes and how the anonymity of riding the train helped that. I also remember it feeling lonely. The people around me looked terribly lonely.

I know that Chicago also has its times of hateful public transportation moments. But of all the time I have spent on the NYC Subway and the Chicago EL, New Yorkers take the cake.

I walked the city streets and noted the overflowing garbage on the curbs and the rushing crowds; the faces that did not dare to smile, the mouth that refused to apologize for smashing into me. Chicago, while being a large city, has much less of that self-absorbed nonsense. New York’s “too busy” attitude was sickening; I mean, a little humanity here, please!

Finally, I remembered why I do not enjoy conversations with self-proclaimed New Yorkers, especially men. As the wing-chick to another single lady, I am obligated to at least acknowledge a man’s presence. But I will be damned if I have to hear about his job as an attorney or his apartment in The Village, which is exactly why pointedly ignoring or humiliating such a person is an effective way of denying them of their own inflated self-righteousness.

There were parts of New York I still missed: my friends, my pizza, my shopping. However, my longing for the street vendors of SOHO to multiply and come forth to Chicago eventually subsided when I realized New York is a city that I will never stop visiting. In the end it all evened out, and I knew that I no longer desire a New York kind of life. It was an empowering epiphany, one that comes but once every four years. A Leap Year Recognition!


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