Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Today, I wish I was a tourist.

As Bubba and I were walking to work this morning, we passed a couple sitting outside at a cafe, enjoying their bagel and iced coffee. This is probably the first morning in Manhattan where it's feasible to actually sit outside at 8 AM and not be too cold. It's beautiful outside, and a crime that I should be stuck inside at my cubicle with no shot of the outdoors unless I stand up. But that's another topic for another post. Anyway, I found myself wishing we were that couple. Sitting there, idly watching the guys across the street pour concrete for the high-rise going up next door, checking out the guide book and deciding what to do, or not do, with our day. When I travel, I really enjoy getting up with the 'locals' and watching everyone else go about their daily business around me (at a decent time of course....I'm on vacation after all!). Most often there is not really time to do this, as there are usually much better things to see than the guy opening up his store next door. But this is what makes travel so great....experiencing someone else's 'normal' life, if only for a short time.

This is one of the things I love about living in New York. On my short walk to work, I fall into the category of 'local' that tourists (who are up early enough) get to see going about their regular, every day lives, mundane as they might be. A few are jealous that they are only visiting and wishing they lived in such a cool city with an urban lifestyle, and a few are probably thinking 'Look at that poor schmuck having to WALK to work!' I pass a few dozen people on my walk from the subway every morning, most of whom are doing the same thing as me....hating that it's a week day and they had to get up and actually go to work this morning, wishing they could just skip and enjoy the beautiful weather outside. But every once in a while I pass someone who isn't going to work, and is just happy hanging out.

One of these days, that's going to be me.

A tourist in my own city.


Eddie said...

You're making me want a vacation in the worst way!

Mike in NY said...

Well KL, you should get out for lunch and just people-watch somewhere.