We’ve walked for miles. Every day. Central Park, past career girls sunbathing on their lunch-breaks. Brooklyn Bridge, overlooking the expanse of the Hudson River. The Met, through towering tribal effigies and cool-skinned Roman gods. I didn’t expect to like New York as much as this. Having recently moved out of London, I didn’t think I was ready to fall in love with a city again, but I was wrong.
It was Union Square that did it, in the baking sun against the backdrop of the Hare Krishna drums. There were men, both old and in their prime, sitting patiently at chess tables waiting for players, passersby. There were pop-up market stalls selling fistfuls of lavender, together with a side of soap. By night, street-dancing teens captured my heart, each with their own set of moves. One girl shook and tremored like a robot. Another bounced with her hands sent high and hair bobbing. She was my favourite, Joy itself and the last to leave when the pack dispersed.
My fiancé remarked how none of the dancers were drinking and how only one of them, robot girl, smoked. Scenes like that were rare back on home turf, unbridled yet booze free.