There’s a comfort and a simplicity to my three-legged commute each workday morning. I take the shuttle from my Hoboken apartment to the PATH train; the PATH to 32nd Street and Broadway; then I walk four long blocks to my office at 32nd and Park. The same characters populate my route most days — the porter hosing down the sidewalk in front of the Radisson Martinique hotel, a blonde mom dropping off her daughter with pink glasses at the nursery school, a middle-aged bald man in an overcoat with a black briefcase and umbrella. I watch the sunrise over the NYU Medical Center in the distance. The smell of KyoChon’s Korean fried chicken tickles my nostrils and makes my mouth water.
Then one day I varied my routine, and the shift in perspective changed everything. My morning commute brought me downtown to the New York University campus where my team was running a leadership development workshop for the NYU Medical Center junior research faculty members. The seminar room was on the 9th floor of the Kimmel Student Center, and I had a unique bird’s eye view of Washington Square Park, and even though the place itself was familiar and the change in perspective relatively small, my senses were awakened and I was drawn in by the area’s beauty. It was a new place for me. And I felt differently that morning, full of hope and possibilities. I also realized that a change of pace, a new routine, a shift in perspective is just what I need to recharge my batteries and get inspired.
Now I’m looking forward to my vacation in London and Paris, where I’ll see the original Arch de Triomphe, Stanford White’s inspiration for the Arch in Washington Square, enjoy art and music, explore history and culture, meet some new and different players, drink fine wine and eat some decadent multi-course meals, and ultimately clear my head. My routines comfort me. But it’s only when I feel a little uncomfortable that I feel like I’m really living. That’s my goal right now. Really living. I look forward to sharing the stories of my adventures and images upon my return.