Last Thursday four separate strangers smiled at me in the street.
The only time this happens in New York is on the first day of spring. When it's suddenly pushing 70 degrees in mid March everyone leaves their cynicism at home and hits the streets with those smiles. Mother nature sprinkling a taste of sweet spring sugar into our open and ready mouths.
It came just in time-after an endless winter where I believed I may actually be living in Russia. I was spiralling head long into a chronic and debilitating case of S.A.D. the main symptom of which was watching illegally downloaded award season movies with a fleece blanket over my head while wearing pajamas with polar bears on.
On the day when spring prematurely sprung I was in Brooklyn, so it's hard to tell if I would have got less stranger smiles if I had been in Manhattan. I was there to meet The Teenager, who's doing a once weekly internship at an independent jewelery maker in Williamsburg. It's an area I hadn't made it to until now and when I arrive I am kicking myself for not coming sooner. I get off the L train at Bedford Avenue and step out of the station. It's instant: I'm in love. Love, love, love. At first sight.
"Well hello there." I say.
The streets smile back too and we're flirt with each other straight off the bat.
I know. Williamsburg. It sounds like a bit of a New York cliche. I'm years late with this one. Does that matter? I don't think so. Don't we find people and places at the exact time we're supposed to?
I meet The Teen for lunch and we eat in the garden of Aurora. The sun comes through the trees and throws a dappled light on the courtyard. It's a bit blissful say what.
Afterwards I stroll around, get lost, people watch for a while on a stoop, get even more lost and then sit on a bench watch some locals playing basketball in the park and coo over loads of cute doggies.
I feel the sun on my cheeks, warm. This is a place I could call home. I can see myself slotting into life there and being happy. It's likely no co-incidence that the day I come here the place is bathed in it's most flattering light.
I get up to take some more pictures and have a massive Springasm.