New York City Celebration

By Johna Till Johnson

New York City Celebration

The festival arrives!

People often ask why I live in New York. Yes, it’s crowded. And expensive. And even though the crime rate is way down from the 1980s when I first lived here, it’s still a city—with all the dangers a city brings.

I try to explain, but the truth is, it’s not the cultural richness. Or the wonderful food. Or even the variegated mix of people.

It’s that New York can continue to surprise and amaze me. As it did on a recent overcast autumn day: I’d just finished brunch with a friend and decided on the spur of the moment to walk the three miles home. I made it less than half the way there when I noticed that the density of police officers had picked way up. And then I heard it: Music, and a few green-and-white-clad people dancing in the street.

A few more steps, and I was in the midst of a full-on street festival, with floats, marching bands, music, and dancing. Apparently it was the 55th birthday of Nigeria (who knew?) and celebrants were out in force. (Well, technically, modern Nigeria was founded on October 1, 1960, but close enough…)

I walked the next several blocks with a gigantic grin on my face. The music was infectious, the colors brilliant, and the energy electric. And by the time I got to the end of the festival, my heart was dancing along with the dancers.

17 responses to “New York City Celebration

  1. Love it. Last time in the city there was an Irish festival passing by the entrance to our hotel….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How lucky you were to stumble into this cheerful festival!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Johna Till Johnson

    Lucky, for sure, but not so surprising. There’s always SOMETHING fun and interesting going in on NYC… that’s why I love it.

    I remember one late-summer day back in the 1980s when it was both weirder and more dangerous than today there was a guy walking down Sixth Ave wearing nothing but saran wrap. Lots and LOTS of saran wrap… so you couldn’t see very much. But still…. saran wrap?!??


    • Makes you wonder how the person ever got that idea in the first place.
      Many years ago I lived in Costa Rica for awhile, and on my way to work I walked up a very steep hill. About half way up this hill, at the side of the road was a discarded toilet. To this day I wonder what it was about that particular place that made a person think, “this is where I’m going to drop off my toilet that doesn’t work.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a magical city. There are many hidden treasures to discover as you walk the streets. One time, at four in the morning, a friend and I walked from the west side to the east side in the mist that turned the buildings to a fairy city. The only other people stirring were policemen having breakfast, others walking their dogs, and some homeless sleeping on the benches. It was a whole other city than the one we usually see.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. *Sigh*…wish I could live there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful! These things happen in big cities!


  7. I miss the surprises and energy of New York – happy that I’m here, but you nailed it, New York is unbeatable for surprises, and infectious spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Miss the city… Nothing like it…

    Liked by 1 person

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