I learned a New York lesson today. I figured out that I’ve walked past the Chrysler Building every weekday for the last year and not until today did I realize it. I’ve rushed past this NYC emblem, late for work or hurrying for the subway home, not noticing what I was close enough to touch or go inside. I had noticed on occasion that it had a very grandiose entrance, American flag displayed prominently in the center, and thought I should Google what the building was. I’d even seen people taking pictures and glanced across the street quickly to see what was there, then turned back to the harrowing zig-zag journey that is navigating around pedestrians on the way to Grand Central.

But I never looked up. Until today, when I saw a man taking a photo from a couple blocks away. I looked up. I saw the shining, arced top of a building first made known to me by the musical Annie. I stopped (figuratively; it is very dangerous to literally stop in the middle of a sidewalk during rush hour). I stopped, and I wondered if this could possibly be the Chrysler Building, way over here on the East side, directly in my path.

It was a quintessential stop and smell the roses moment, and it hit me that I’m here in New York, journeying through Manhattan every day, and yet I keep my head down. This building, a standout in the skyline, so beautiful and distinct from far away. I can always spot it from a distance. But I never bothered to spot it when it was tangible and up close.

If I’m endeavoring to find a place in the city or a place in work and life, I can’t view landmarks from afar, admiring the sun reflecting off them but having only a foggy idea of where they are. I’m going to keep my head up more often, take in and savor the details of my life right now, and smile.

Advertisements