New York Morning

alexis scott
3 min readAug 22, 2019

This morning I was wondering what the hell I am doing. What am I doing here? What am I doing in New York City, a city filled with breath but not often the deep kind, with paths but very few clear ones, with air but often very thick? I was walking from the train past the farmer’s market to the Duane Reade, delaying my entry into 32 Broadway where I’ve (for almost a year!) had a part-time administrative post with a non-profit that works overseas to end poverty through small business development. I was walking past the statue of the big bull at Bowling Green where every morning and afternoon, despite the weather or day, tourists gather and line up to take photos of themselves and each other. I was walking past the man in his suit slurping iced, milky coffee through a straw while scrolling intently through his phone, past the man on the sidewalk to my left shaking a cup of change and woman on my right on the other sidewalk shaking her own cup of change. I was walking past all of the people who woke up and got themselves dressed and ready for their days of business or leisure in a familiar or foreign place. I was walking through the streets filled with buildings so tall that the sun is often blocked on its journey to touch skin.

I was walking through this city where my grandmother spent so much of her life, in love and alive with its rush and rowdiness, where her fourteenth story balcony served as a spot to house plants and look out on the ambulance sirens and passersby. I was walking through this city where my uncle did what I am doing, where so many came before to do what I am doing, where hundreds or thousands a day come to do what I am doing — to dare to be an actor or a dancer or an artist. This city where at night the streets grow brighter. This city where you can stumble through a pile of dog shit and into a transcendent piece of history or art. This city that carries within it so many stories of arrival and transition that the echoes of human daring reverberate in tunnels and canals, in outdoor markets and brownstone stairwells. I was walking through this city thinking about other places. I was putting one foot in front of another and thinking about the city of Oakland, its majestic lake and the people who gather around it daily to talk and walk and listen to music. I was thinking about the feeling of the sun on my skin in that city, even on the days I’ve spent there after fires have torn apart its landscape and the air is thick with recovery. I was thinking about how easy it is to be there, how like other places I’ve lived and loved, it could house a self…