Ever stumble into experience unassumingly pretty damn wild, so much so that post-thought leaves wonder of how you ever could’ve gone living without said encounter? Only if you’re lucky (enough to realize it.)
Recall a recent date: January 21st (day of Donald Trump’s being sworn in as President of the United States / Women’s Marches nationwide)
Where were you?
Me? Tripping, last minute, into the streets of New York for a new pair of glasses frames – no really, it was the last day of break before going back to college, mind you. Warby Parker, store where I was planning to make my purchase, was conveniently located 89 E 42nd St, better known: Grand Central Station.
I (and a friend of mine) were unintentionally located internally within the heart of the march, a thoroughly crowded and at times frustrating, happy accident. One of the most positive vibes of any event is if majority eye contact you meet – in NY at that – greet your glance with a friendly smirk and maybe show of teeth. Unity by common cause can do that. People in a city defined by diversity brought together strongly. Hosted in a place so tightly packed, cause for physical touching, nearly whole body pressed to one or more people in some spots on the street – you may(not) know the avenue but far more crowded than ordinary day. Each individual body creating a sea looking to be a single mass with one voice strongly heard, strongly felt. How great is New York (statement, not to be questioned.)
We walked for blocks and blocks east to allow some breathing room spaced from the masses; I did not stop seeing protestors till after crossing a waterway, stepping off the subway in Brooklyn. Even when hopping back onto the subway, we’d see protestors occasionally return. Faces tired and worn by a day long-lived but noticeably elated in appearance, amusingly empowered.
Amidst walk back to catch a bus at Port Authority was noticeable crowding near Bryant Park on sidewalks of the Public Library. Maybe not so uncharacteristic, much less unusual for NYC but I was drawn nonetheless. Crossing the street, I saw through empty slices between legs of pedestrians, layers of bright signage and poster board paper with felt-tip marker hand-drawn inscriptions camouflaging sidewalk concrete. Aftermath of the day’s events intentionally placed in reminder of their earlier and existing protestor presence. So yes, I missed my bus just to stare at the sights for awhile but unregrettably.
Returning home, full house greeted with questions of my day; the parade, a sore subject which I heard eluding from the living room T.V., sounding news reel spewing bias, personal opinion, and generalizations. My Grandma who’d sat stationed inside for the day, prompted she’d no idea the point of the march. I imagine she thought, people wasting away their finality of time. Smiling politely, I thought this is a woman unexposed to the allures of what my eyes saw today – experience indescribable if not experienced first-hand by one’s self.
Undoubtably, you’ve already been flooded with images of marches nationwide but the most honest images do no justice for events unlike human experience, first-hand. I encourage and wholly endorse attending events for causes you care about. No, I may have not consciously sought out the parade but was glad to find myself there.
Additionally, let it be known that the primary intent of this post is definitely unpolitical if read closely. This is putting viewpoints aside, though I don’t discount those for voicing their own, it is simply beside the focus of this post (at least not the main theme/purpose of content here.)