Today, New York finally woke up from its long winter sleep as Spring kindly graced us with her presence. New Yorkers were out and about, jogging, brunching, walking dogs, chatting up friends and enjoying the gorgeous weather.
I woke up at 10AM after six hours of sleep, ate breakfast, picked up dry cleaning, and decided that it would be a beautiful day to go skating. So I grabbed an iced coffee, hopped on the L train and headed over to Chelsea.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, as the name suggests, lays on the west side of Manhattan in the Chelsea neighborhood right on the water. I usually skate on the West Rink, which has beautiful sweeping views of the hudson river.
I've been coming here for just three weeks, and I've already made some new friends. N, G and A also came to the rink today, and it was fun seeing all of us spin at the same time. We even tried some synchronized waltz jumps around in a circle. Skating is so much more fun with friends.
Chelsea is one of my favorite places in New York. The vibe here is completely different from the rest of Manhattan. It's a trendy residential area with beautiful brownstone apartments lining the streets. The pace of life is slower and people really take their time to enjoy what they're doing. It's a great place to people watch with plenty of cafes and restaurants - a fast-paced atmosphere that also manages to be calm and stress free. I feel grounded here, which helps me relax and regain focus. A lot of celebrities live and frequent this area in the typical nondescript gym clothes, baseball cap and shades. The other day, G and I saw Sasha Cohen running down 9th ave when we were having an afternoon snack outside Le Pain Quotidien. We both almost died being star struck.
The thing is, I would have never really frequented Chelsea if I didn't decide to get back into figure skating. This is when I realize how the networks people form in New York is really a funny thing. Similar people tend to hang out at the same places at the same times, and that's why the city feels so small. A friend of a friend will almost guarantee to already have mutuals friends with you.
But then the moment you change a little part of your life, just a tiny little bit of your routine, a whole new world suddenly sets in. You meet new people with different aspirations, goals and dreams. At first, they seem really different from you, but then you find little similarities here and there. And you start feeling that emotional connection that feels exciting and comforting at the same time. It's these small moments with those around me, even sometimes with people I've just met, that makes me feel the true magic of this city.
I took my time strolling through Chelsea on my way home. I walked by a girl walking her baby husky, and I couldn't help but stop and pat her as she licked my fingers. Then I continued strolling down the streets, snapping some of these pictures on my phone along the way.
I felt so incredibly wonderful and so, so happy.