It’s a sunny Thursday morning in New York, though ten layers of clothes wouldn’t be wildly inappropriate. On my way to school, I pass by Supreme. There is always either a line or they are restocking – there is no in between. Five minutes later, I’m inhaling SoHo. It is crowded as ever, but always with different people. That is New York, the people. There is a man in his fifties rocking red leather pants that resemble Ross’s infamous pair, and a woman in her seventies glowing with her purple hair and maximalist jewelry. You can see anything or anyone on the streets except for the same of something or someone. New Yorkers are not just free spirits, they have also mastered the art of expressing that with everything they say, do — and of course — wear. You can become friends with a stranger in seconds, but can’t schedule a coffee date with a friend without a detailed assessment of both of your schedules. Everyone is busy, everyone is motivated, everyone is thriving. Inspiration is everywhere. The subway is full of talent, some singing, others reading books despite all those arms crossing over their eyes. A few stops and many new faces later, it’s time for my first class.
During my break, I find myself in a vintage store with a humble entrance. There is a sign that reads ‘please handle our vintage gently.’ A woman is searching for a wedding dress. No, she is not the bride, just a vintage soul. She finds just the right piece. A few steps later, a man orders food at a halal truck. A brand photoshoot is happening right next to him. There are people passing by of course, and a lot of cabs. No one even stares at the models, either because they don’t have time or because it’s just another Thursday afternoon. At the end of the day, there is never not a photoshoot.
A few hours later, I realize I’m not caffeinated enough for my late-night lecture. Of course, there is a line. New Yorkers stay hydrated through coffee. As I sip my Americano, a man in his late sixties spills his own over what turns out to be the first draft of his latest book. The draft is saved. He begins oversharing experiences from his career and ends up becoming friends with a twenty-something guitarist. Sounds like a weird duo? Not for New York.
It’s finally time for my lecture, but I have been learning just as much outside the classroom. Just another weekday in the city of dreams.