I'm participating in BlogHer's National BlogPosting Month (NaBloPoMo)--had you noticed? Today, I took a prompt from the website: Describe a favorite place. Focus on how that place affects your sense of taste, touch, sight, sound, or smell.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, it will come as no surprise to you that my favorite place on earth is (and likely always will be) New York City.
It's the loudest place I've ever been. It smells like exhaust, roasted nuts, fresh bread, sometimes stinkier things, sometimes cinnamon. If you've never seen the Manhattan skyline from Queens at sunset, you don't know what you're missing. My neighorhood was a sea of faces, all different shapes, shades and sizes. Some were familiar, many were not. Certain images immediately pop into my mind when I think about my former home: The nice old gentleman who owned the bakery next to my apartment who, without ever being asked, waited outside his shop each night with a cup of coffee until I was at my door. It took me several weeks to realize he was looking out for me, but once I did, I made sure to stop and talk to him on my way by his place. He always asked how my day was, if I had a good show that night. I asked if he sold all his multi-grain loaves--it annoyed him when he had leftovers, you see, because they're useless if they go stale.
When I think of NYC, I'm not immediately bombarded with images of flashing lights and famous buildings like people who have just been there as toursits. I think of the day-to-day, the mundane and ordinary. I miss walking into the very warm laundromat on a cold day, the windows steamed, the air thick with the smell of fabric softener. There are days when I wish I could hop on a train to go home instead of behind the wheel of my car. I liked getting a Coke with a straw and a candy bar in a black plastic shopping bag from my local bodega. On the flip side, I liked having the opportunity to do something brand new and different every single time I wanted to. I haven't even scratched the surface of all I want to see in that city.
I love big slices of New York pizza, Starbuck's lattes in my hand while walking uptown on Columbus Avenue, rooibis tea from Alice's, apple cider from the Green Market at Union Square, itty bitty mac and cheese from Chat n Chew, giant burgers from Big Nick's.
What's your favorite place?