In Cities, Always Looking Up



Looking up at Curry in a Hurry, where I had dinner.

It is hard for me to turn off my planning brain, but when I’m travelling, I work harder than usual to do it. I’m in New York City this week for a conference, and while a part of me is already doing a Google Maps route of where I want to go before I’ve even gotten to the bottom of my coffee cup, I’m also more present than I’ve been for a long time.

I feel self-conscious in big cities because I feel like everyone else is laser-focused on getting where they are going and I feel like I am always looking up, reading signs, noting plaques, lingering. New York City is a miracle to me – our small city can barely sustain a few blocks of downtown shops and living, and nothing is walkable, really. Here, however, everything is miraculous, built up into the sky, NEARBY.

I could spend today working on my presentation for tomorrow, which is only half-done. I could spend today working on writing and reading and all the other things that tickle the back of my brain all day when I do something else, something for fun. But today I’m choosing New York, and I’m choosing to look up. The last time I was here was 10 years ago, when I was a stunned college student who didn’t know just how freeing being an adult would be. Now, I have to break out of the routine of adulthood to feel that again.

I’m hoping that some alone time to wander galleries, to taste delicious foods, to see the High Line, and to browse a bookstore will all put me in a mental space for all my favorite things. Yes, I do have to go back to a productivity stint tomorrow, but today’s to-do list looks a little different, and a little more like a map than usual: where can I walk and where can I look? What can I see if I don’t let all my priorities sneak up and overtake this happiness?

8 Comments, RSS

  1. mzukowskiblog October 12, 2017 @ 8:57 am

    Make sure to check out Max Brenner while you’re there 🙂 It’s an amazing chocolate store that’s also a restaurant. Also, I like that you’re focused in the now. No need to worry about tomorrow’s productivity stint when today’s New York!!

  2. Diane October 12, 2017 @ 11:35 am

    Have a great time. I work in NYC a few days a week and I always gawk at something…. Even locals do it!

  3. whatsnonfiction October 12, 2017 @ 12:27 pm

    My college dorm was a 10, 15 minute walk from Curry in a Hurry, I ate there so often when I was in school 🙂 I even took my husband there to try it the last time we visited. Just seeing your photo made me homesick and nostalgic! Enjoy your time there, it’s such a great place to wander through alone and explore and just look around…wish you a wonderful experience!

  4. Kimberlee Koehn October 12, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Love this! I am definitely one that gets caught up in my crazy schedule and forgets to just breathe and take in what’s around me. Thanks for the reminder to look up 🙂

  5. Downsizing Help October 14, 2017 @ 1:43 am

    Sounds like a good combination of fun and learning. I’m sure the time off helped you be relaxed for your presentation. Yes, looking up is good advice in Toronto too, especially around older buildings.

  6. sportsdiva64 October 16, 2017 @ 2:23 pm

    Laura, thank you for following my blog and have a good time in New York city. Definately gawk while you’re here. We new Yorkers do it all the time !

  7. Anna Drake October 17, 2017 @ 4:37 pm

    I’ve been a shambles all my life. I’ve followed your blog in hopes of climbing out of my mess. No pressure. I’m only half joking.

  8. Anna Drake October 17, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

    P.S., enjoy New York City. I was there once. Loved it!

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