I work in Lower Manhattan. I have a job that happens to be located down there, so there I go. Whenever one goes to the same place every day, the trip is done by rote – it’s automatic. A while back it began to dawn on me how fortunate I was to be working in an area filled with history significant to people around the world – indeed, tourists are abound, taking snapshots of these historic locations, trying to create enduring memories of their trip to New York City.
Spending a lifetime living in New York City has a way of desensitizing one to the vast quantity of famous places all around us. Much conversation has taken place among native New Yorkers about how irritating it can be with all of “these tourists” overflowing “our” streets, wont to stop on a dime to take a picture of some building or statue.
To name just a few of the world-famous locations I see on a daily basis, I pass the World Trade Center, the Trump Building, the “Charging Bull”, Federal Hall (location of the first inauguration of George Washington (along with the statue of him outside the building), Trinity Church (which includes the grave of Alexander Hamilton), the New York Stock Exchange, and so many more.
I might be in the minority here, but sometimes I wish I were there when Wall Street had a wall, when Canal Street had a canal, and when Beaver Street had, errr, beavers? Whenever I am lost in such reverie, I try to remind myself that indoor plumbing, brushing teeth, regular bathing, garbage collection, and sewers weren’t standard in many of these times.
As usual, I digress. It’s often so easy to get used to things that we see all the time. I imagine it’s a natural progression. We may not look up at the tall buildings, towering well above our grasp. We may not look down at the ground where battles were fought and rights were won. The familiar loses its majesty.
Sometimes it’s important to break from your routine, and open your eyes to the history and beauty around us.