During the summer, the many outdoor events remind me of everything that New York has to offer and how many people there are to meet just outside the front door. This week, the New York Philharmonic performs their two annual free concerts in Central Park. In all the years I've lived in New York, I've never seen one of these concerts until this year. My friend, Brandi, left New York this week for greener pastures in DC and a group of us got together for the concert to bid her a fond farewell which none of us are happy about. Brandi goes to this concert every year, and wanted to make sure to catch this one, her last as a New York City resident.
Brandi arrived first, getting us an excellent space in the middle section. From that vantage point we were in the middle of a wonderfully positive energy. The Park was packed, and during the evening I grew more and more grateful for the great diversity housed in this tiny island. Even on our small blanket, different groups of friends joined together from different walks of life to enjoy the event.
In the middle of the Park, I was reminded just how many people live in New York, and how unique each of their stories are. I could hear the laughter from every corner mixing with the music. People were sharing the details of their days. Reminiscing. Talking about what they hoped for and dreamed of. Some people were celebrating and others explained their gratitude for the amazing weather and the opportunity to be together. Flashbulbs were going off all around us as people snapped photos to remember the occasion.
The New York Phil's concerts represent New York at its best. The many voices coming together, paths converging. Before we left the park, I took a look around, happy to live in a place that constantly changes and yet always feels like home, a place where anything and everything is possible. As the closing fireworks went off, for a moment I actually believed that I could reach out and touch them if I really wanted to. It's the happy side effect of being a city that makes you feel like you can fly.