April 17, 2012

looking up

I have a strange horror of looking like a tourist, even when I am. Especially when I am a tourist. I refuse to tote around maps and guide books and try my best to dress like a local, to blend in. It's probably a futile effort. I'm sure that, despite all of my attempts, I still stick out from the places I'm visiting because I am, of course, visiting. But still I persist.
In New York, tourists look up. Up and up and up. It's understandable. Where California has the redwoods towering over visitors, we have buildings that touch the sky.
It's hard not to look up in wonder, until one day when it becomes just the landscape of your life and then you forget that right there, right there, is the Empire State Building, the Bryant Park Building, the Chrysler Building, waving frantically "Hey there! You down there! I was a marvel of engineering! I was a wonder of an age. Stop texting and look at me." Except we don't.
Over the past few weeks I've been suppressing that need to look like a I belong and have been making an effort to look up.
Because up, here, is beautiful. What, on the street level, is a sea of grey stone is art if only you look up.