Although Christmas is over, it seems to be an unspoken rule that many places are not taking down their decorations just yet. I understand. In fact a large amount of shops and public areas in NYC never took down their lights throughout the year. It seems that the shop owners probably left up the decorations to be taken down a while after the holidays, but then when the pandemic started, without saying a word to each other, they decided to keep the lights of Christmas alive throughout the year. Even into the summer there were trees filled with beautiful lights outside restaurants. There were all kinds of wonderful expressions of spirit and solidarity if you looked in the smallest places. Well…this is one of the most beautiful ornaments I have ever seen…and I couldn’t pass up taking a picture of this wonderful tree that is, you guessed it, outside! Enjoy, and there will be more photos coming your way often! Here’s a little love and spirit to ya!
I’ve been inspired lately to write about something that I feel can sometimes be taken for granted. I don’t really know what to say about it so far, so here goes. This is my brain drain about kindness. Kindness is contagious.
Have you ever noticed on the train how someone asking for money often goes ignored? Then, out of the many, one person donates…and it’s a ripple effect. People notice what is happening. Something in them encourages them to give what little they can. Automatically the heaviness on the train lightens just a little bit. A few smiles and kind words are exchanged. We are all reminded of the fact that others, too, are sometimes kind, in a world where it feels that not many are. For a brief second someones day has been made better, and that candle has been re-kindled inside them. The hearts of all involved have been pushed open just a little bit and warmth has been let in. It’s contagious; the best kind of contagious.
I’m a lover of inspirational quotes, so naturally I was looking up the perfect quote to share in this piece about kindness. There were way too many perfect quotes for me to share in one article; too much good material available, ironically! One of my favorite ideas, though, is that kindness begets kindness by using the law of attraction. In a nutshell, what you feel and put out into the world becomes your reality. I have personally known this to be true in my own life. So, by being truly kind to the core you are not only improving the lives of others, but you are attracting kindness to you. Even when kindness is not reciprocated you can rest easy knowing that the universe has your back, and feel good about what you have done. So, you may ask, what inspired me to write about this?
I won’t go too far into detail about the reasons behind why I was feeling stressed and low, but I will tell you about the person who showed unconditional kindness. It all happened in a coffee shop, of all places, in midtown NYC. It was a colder day and I went to Princi (which is fabulous, by the way) for a hot chocolate. Upon reaching the register, the barista, Nefertari, could tell that I could use a little boost and she treated me with such care and kindness that it truly warmed my heart. She went above and beyond with amazing customer service, a true to the core smile, and I could tell that her heart is very kind. She didn’t ask questions, she just knew and exuded such a warm, understanding energy that I couldn’t help but smile. I left that day feeling a little bit lighter. I was on the receiving end of a truly kind act, and I haven’t forgotten that. Everyone should have a Nefertari in their lives. I told her I would be writing a shout-out to her on my blog, and I hope to help pay it forward. If you have the chance, stop by, grab a hot chocolate, and enjoy the awesome atmosphere and warmth (literally, too) of Princi on an otherwise cold day. It could be exactly what you needed. Thank you, again, Nefertari, for reminding me that there are truly kind people out there. I hope it comes back to you tenfold!
When many people imagine New York City at Christmas there are a variety of images that come to mind. Walking up and down 5th Avenue with a red Starbucks cup in hand (hot chocolate, who could resist?), with a light snow falling, while peeking in to the extravagant and creative store windows. Saks Fifth Avenues’ fantastic light show. The great Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center (all lit up and gorgeous!). Ice skating, and holiday markets in Columbus Circle and Bryant Park. A gleaming and heartfelt/cheery spirit felt in the throngs of people in the city. At least, that’s what it’s like in the movies (and my boyfriend can probably attest to the fact that I’m a serious romantic movie type at heart…and he’s right!). That’s correct…I said THRONGS of people in the city. The hustle and bustle of New York City can be hard enough on a daily basis, but during the holidays…well…it’s beyond madness, especially in midtown.
It’s very easy for us New Yorkers to get caught up in the frustration and annoyance that the busyness can bring. After all, standing shoulder to shoulder in the cold, trying to finagle your way to the next street corner through a packed crowd and an endless sea of people on your way to the subway simply to get home can be quite infuriating. But… I still love Christmas. I love all the holidays during that time of year. It’s a special time to celebrate for several religions and many are brought to show their true, kind spirit (I hope!).
All the frustration aside, though, this New Yorker got to experience a moment of pure magic the other night. It came quite unexpectedly, and I’ll remember it for years to come. It was calming and serene; two words that I never thought I would attribute to New York City. After spending many hours inside the Apple store waiting and waiting (they are the only twenty-four hour location…so they’re awesome but quite busy!), I left weary and ready to hit the hay. It had been quite a difficult day even before the phone issues. I had arrived shortly after my iPhone had up and given me a very strange display (I’m no techy, so I had to take the phone to a professional right away at 9:30 at night…so thank goodness that the lovely Apple folks are open!). But…something special awaited me outside at 1:30 in the morning…this beauty:
I was astounded. I was out there, alone, on the street (I know, not safe, but it could not be avoided)…and I got to witness this…how special; how moving; how beautiful. I couldn’t help but be reminded how beauty can permeate your soul. It was just the star and me, and I got to witness it in silence…no crowds, no pushing, no shoving…just a silent reminder of the true beauty of this season; a permanent and indelibly etched image in my memory (and my new phone, thank goodness!). I found myself entirely in awe and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you want to see a wonderful reminder of the beauty of this city…you can find this star near the Apple store at 59th St. and 5th Avenue…and then make your way down 5th Avenue, hot chocolate in hand, and catch some of the views I was lucky enough to see that night in silence…I truly hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the season…Happy Holidays and be sure to find your own serene corner of the city during this time…and revel in it. It’s worth it!