I read Allison’s blog post today about an older man who sat down next to her in a cafe and started to talk about his life. It made me really, really miss New York City.
I’ve often encountered people like the man she talks about in New York, on park benches or in a subway car, outdoor cafes or just waiting at the bus stop. I miss hearing their stories, however ridiculous they can sound. I haven’t encountered anyone like that here in San Francisco, though admittedly I don’t spend as much time as I used to sitting in public spaces. I walk to work, so I don’t sit on a subway or bus for hours of my day commuting. The weather is cold enough here where I wouldn’t want to sit in a park reading, and even if I did that would mean leaving Louie inside the apartment by himself.
I lament the fact that this has happened—I actually miss my commute because it gave me extra nap time in the morning, and plenty of time to read books. I miss running into people I knew from high school on the bus and complaining about how packed the subway is to a random stranger squashed in next to me on the train.
I also miss looking up and actually seeing the tall buildings stretch into the sky and poke the clouds. Here, it’s foggy in the early morning and in the evenings. The sky is often rather grey at these times, and while the buildings DO still “poke” the clouds (if the clouds aren’t already swallowing them whole) they’re not nearly as tall as the ones in New York. The space around is almost too open for me and I find myself longing for the comfort of the buildings padding my view on all sides.
Is that strange?