blog > Posts tagged "NYC"

A microcosm by Misha Lyuve
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Jun 6, 2012


I love NYC subway because it represents a microcosm of humanity – all you need to do is pay attention.

Where else can you feel one with the people as much as in a crowded subway car where you find yourself in a tight embrace with your fellow humans? Your proximity to flesh of those you don’t know might beat that of what you maintain with your best friends and maybe even your lovers.

This is the place where we give up our standards of private space, are pushed and stepped on, but remain more tolerant than in other life situations; like with the lady that fits only in two seats or a little guy who jumps on your back to squeeze right between you and the closing doors just as you thought that you were the only one who could fit there.

Don’t you ever wonder who these people are? Where are they rushing? What fuels them? Who loves them? How come, so different, they ended up in this tight space? Is that a coincidence or fate?

It is so easy not to care. It is so trivial not to notice them or pretend not to notice them. It is so predictable to stay on the train checked out and stuck with sporadic thoughts in one’s head. But if we pay attention… If we try to get through and see these people behind their fashionable sunglasses, loud headphones, busy makeup, eyes glued to their reading material – I am telling you people, this is it; this is us; this is the world; this is humanity. 

I feel that those who drive to work might be missing out; though I am sure they can find their own treasures on the way.

Commute offers spectacular opportunities for extraordinary living. What do you say?

You are a Rock Star, old lady… by Misha Lyuve

Mar 25, 2012

So I am walking on my street and I see an old lady with a walker crossing West End Avenue. The traffic light is turning from green to red, and she is right in the middle of the road. The wind blows and you can see how it rips into her small body while she is holding on to her walker. She has these really big glasses, but I don’t think she can see much. As I help her to get to the other side, we chat and I find out that it is her first time out after the hip replacement surgery. She is on the way to McDonalds. She is in excellent spirits. In fact, she is thrilled.

Now I am done with my errands and on my way home. The lady is still stubbornly pushing her walker – she is a bit more than half way through the block where I left her off…

I set goals. I am in action. I question myself daily, annually and lifely whether I have accomplished enough. I use comparison to others to judge myself… or them. But what’s really an accomplishment? What’s enough?

And all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs – Good for you, old lady! You are a rock star! - For getting yourself dressed and out of the apartment, walking against wind and traffic. Keep pushing that walker!

Thank you old lady for letting me see how differently a definition of an accomplishment is written for each of us. Thank you for allowing me to appreciate the efforts people around me make to live their lives and push their walkers; how those efforts vary in size and scope; how they are not always seen and, if seen, not always noticed and, if noticed, not always acknowledged.

And what are you pushing?

p.s. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the original lady, but the one here is one of the local troopers.

An Enlightening Ride by Misha Lyuve

Mar 17, 2012

Every New Yorker knows how important it is for your cab driver to take the shortest and the quickest path to your destination.

So on my way from Washington Square to Upper West Side, my cabbie takes 6th avenue up – that would raise anyone’s eyebrows. But when he is starting to make a left turn on 47th street, I can’t help but scream out: “Are you really taking me through Times Square???”

As we are stumbling through traffic among other cabs, vans, ridiculousness (pardon my judgment) of stretched lemos and big eyes of overwhelmed visitors, I am fuming. “What was he thinking?”, “This is outrageous”, “How dare he be so disrespectful of my time” and even “How unprofessional of him” – the guy is about to get it from me.

…Suddenly my mind stops for a second, as if I get pulled out of my head into the space from which I can watch my cab, Times Square and my upset self from the outside. And I realize that I don’t know who this person taking me home is, how long he’s been driving in Manhattan and what kind of day he had. And I can also clearly see different paths in which my life can unfold from this moment on – like me giving him a passionately condescending speech and then being upset myself for the rest of the evening; or him throwing me out of the cab in the middle of Times Square; or me joking with him about the hurdles of New York City driving; or finding out where he is from; or just not saying a word.

When I land back into the back seat of the yellow cab, I’m no longer upset. There is nothing to do or to say, just to acknowledge that sometimes I can feel so much, at the moment it seems so true and wants to get expressed so fast – but it’s better to keep it to myself.

Thank you.