Sometimes, while I'm hurrying between a job and a playdate and an errand, I'll find myself absolutely awestruck by the magnitude of talent that surrounds me. I don't mean that of my husband (who's talent and musical ear blows me away on a daily basis, but that's another story), I mean the talent of the city as a whole. Walking the dozen blocks from Houston on the east side to Carmine on the west, one's liable to come across multiple musical performances (we saw a hip-hop xylophone show, a swing-style five piece brass band, and a handful of singer-songwriter types doing their things), dance performances (a modern lyrical-style troupe from the New School putting on an experimental number), games (dirty city basketball in all its glory), and art (The Bowery mural, the new David Bowie wall at Rag+Bone, and all of the magnificent heartfelt work on the walls in between.. street art will always have my heart). Not to mention the sight of taxi cabs navigating 6th Avenue at rush hour, which is a not-so-delicate dance of sorts all its own. This place is simply brimming with talent. And it makes the everyday moments and errands so utterly beautiful.
To think that eight and a half million people are living here: struggling, playing, creating, and working hard to make a life for themselves, well its humbling. I feel grateful to be surrounded by such diversity, and by such talent. It's inspiring. And I can only imagine what it must be like for my children to grow and learn in this reality where everyone strives to be themselves and to follow their dream, as crazy or offbeat as that dream may be. I love that Biet and Lucien are able to experience music, art, and performance every day, as a natural part of their world. I love that they will grow with the message that if you love to do something, you can walk out your door and do it. The examples are everywhere. And I love that no matter what they may choose to do or become, they will be able to look out upon their city and see someone doing it. The great talent pool of the city reinforces what I long to instill in them every day: that anything truly is possible, and that your dreams matter. A lot.
So thank you for the street shows and the street art and for being yourselves, my fellow New Yorkers. Whether I stop to admire a scribbling pasted to a wall, smile at you in passing as you strum a guitar, or throw a dollar in yout tip bucket as you belt out Billie Holiday on the corner, I want you to know that I appreciate you sharing your gift and your dreams. It makes the city even more exciting and beautiful, for all of us.