Every single day plays witness to the throngs of people shuffling about, minding their own business, trying to get from point A to point B. There are over 8 million people living in New York City…thats 8 million faces, and their 8 million stories playing out around you. So how is it that such a large metropolis at times can feel like a small town?
Some instances stem from New Yorkers being creatures of habit…glued to their wristwatches, following tight schedules. Once I started to pay attention, I began to notice the same folks on the train, in the same seats, drinking the same coffees. Or the same commuters getting off and on, at the same stops. I started to see the same faces rushing to work, wearing the same hurried looks. This city may be full of moving pieces…but once you take a closer look, so many of them are moving together.
Are these small coincidences? Or obvious realities? It’s easy to look down, or look through other people when you walk. I am just as guilty as the rest of putting up blinders as head to my destination. But if I just paid a little more attention, how much more would I notice?
Some instances aren’t as easily explained. Crossing paths in the middle of an intersection with friends from back home. Seeing the same performer on two different subways in the same day. This city has 1,220 bars and 22,320 restaurants, yet running into a familiar face seems somehow normal.
There are 8 million people with 8 million stories, but our stories intersect, connecting us by our routines. We may be going different places for different reasons, but our common goal, on our travels to reach our destination, binds us together and reminds us how similar our stories truly are.