by Jen on July 11, 2012


Note:  This post was written amidst an extremely rainy week, and for whatever reason (my brain malfunction, I assume), was never posted.  Returning home from a week in Kansas has made me all lovey dovey with this place, sooooo, I give you a New York City experience… in the rain.

Gray, spitting skies have cloaked the city all week.  The muggy air is hard to breath, and my hair lifts from my scalp like chaotic spirals reaching for the sky.  Umbrellas complicate an already cramped sidewalk, and soggy bags of garbage line the streets.  The curbside storm drains can’t swallow the rain fast enough, and New Yorkers are threatened by walls of water thrown by the tires of speeding taxis and buses.

This is my first Spring as a foot-commuting urbanite.  This is also my first time owning rain boots and permanently housing a compact umbrella in my bag.

Rainy days mean I  ride the bus with other damp passengers escaping one element to brave another.   Bodies cram in the vessel desperate to make it to work dry and on time.  We drink thick, wet, recycled air, and I often feel I hold my breath for 40 blocks until the bus door opens, and I spill out onto the corner of my desired stop.

I duck into a busy, yet peaceful, Starbucks where they astonishingly know my name and predict with 100% accuracy that I will order an iced venti vanilla chai.

Exiting with my order, I wipe rogue hairs from my sticky cheek and erect my umbrella.

Drops of rain hit the canopy, drowning the sounds of the city with serene and unpredictable cadence.

It feels like Jazz.

Or maybe that’s just the song left in my head from Starbucks?

The light turns, and I cross the busy street with a crowd of people who are just like me.

Boots.  Umbrellas.  Coffees.  Destinations.

I arrive at mine.

I shake moisture from my umbrella and stow it for later.  I enter glass doors, ride an elevator to my office, and think about how different my life would be if I’d never moved to The City.

I wouldn’t need an umbrella.  I’d brave the rain considering I’d only be in it for a few seconds.  I’d be dry in my car.  I’d be alone.  I’d have room to move.  I wouldn’t share air with strangers.  I’d drive through Starbucks and avoid the smells and the Jazz.  I’d watch the road and ignore the buildings and the trash and the puddles and the people.

But that wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison July 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

This makes me want to go dance in the rain 🙂


2 kidfreeliving July 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

I wish I had to actually leave the house… I want a super nice pair of rain boots and I just can't justify them. This post made me wistful again!


3 Lance July 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

I read thi, then left the house with my teenage daughter to take her to cheerleading practice and it started to rain. Every word you wrote stayed with me, like a song.

well done, Jen w your Pen


4 Kimberly July 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I have never been there…but your post made me feel like I was. So beautifully written. I'm glad that you found this post to share 🙂


5 runnermom-jen July 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm

You make a rainy day sound so romantic.
Beautiful post, Jen.


6 Rose July 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I love this post Jen, you brought the ambiance of 'New York City in the rain' to life. Just gorgeous.


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