|Manhattan Temple, picture taken January 2012|
In the craziness of Midtown, Manhattan, I often find myself looking for places of peace - where I cannot hear cars or sirens and/or there are fewer people than normally found in New York City to interrupt my solitude.
I have found four spots within a few minute's walk. From closest to furthest, these include the following:
1) The terrace on the 9th floor of our building. This is often too sunny (I have vitiligo, so need to stay out of the sun as much as possible) and I can sometimes hear cars on the street below, but it is also rarely inhabited by another soul and is quite beautiful.
2) The small park at 57th street along the Hudson River harbor. Even though there is a large freeway a block away, this is surprisingly serene and peaceful, particularly at dusk.
3) The Ballpark cafe in Central Park. (Please don't everyone go there now!) I have found that, if you sit in the right place, you can't hear traffic, and it's just enough out of the way that relatively few people pass by. I've been working on finishing up my book while there this week (more on that to come).
4) The temple. The Manhattan temple has become my favorite quiet place in Midtown. The most distinctive feature about it is its construction - two exterior walls (a building within a building, as they call it) create a complete sound barrier to any and all external sounds - unique considering it is situated kiddie corner to Lincoln Square. It means that, if you sit in a place where no other patrons are frequenting, it is possible to be in complete quietude in the middle of the city.
I have come to appreciate this immensely while here in Manhattan. Particularly this week when I helped to clean the temple. I was asked to clean the 6th floor, where the sealing rooms (the room in which marriages for time & eternity take place) are located. There was another there vacuuming and dusting when I was there, but I relished the opportunity when instructed to ensure the footprints were vacuumed out of the carpet (can you imagine?) of the sealing rooms to have the whole floor to myself and to enjoy the peace and quiet found therein.
As an introvert, it is at time spent in places like these when I can declare that, "it is well with my soul."
|Nuns quietly gossiping at 59th Street Harbor park. (New Jersey looks pretty from a distance.)|