I remember up until a couple of months ago I would always tell anyone who wanted to hear that I was not a morning person, I was in fact a person of the night, an owl really, looking for fun, food and someone to “mate” with. The night was my zone, I knew all about it, I knew how to be and where to be, no matter where in the world it was.
I always felt terrible about the morning, I guess as a reflection from my childhood, because I remember having to wake up really early to be taken to my grandparents house as my parents had to leave for work, so my day always started at a very early 6am, at the most. I never got a break, it never stopped being like that, the mornings in fact only became more challenging, and so I developed a pattern, of dreading the mornings and being very lazy and/or angry about having to wake up, either to be dropped at my grandparents house, or to go to swimming classes, or school, or work; the morning had always been a huge pain. The evening however was always fun, the family would all be together, watch movies, eat around the dinner table and always have something to share, and as i grew up it continued to be better: parties with school mates, sleep overs, going to clubs, getting drunk and feeling on top of the world.
Well, I don’t know if i have really become a grown up now, or if being a grown up actually has anything to do with it, but things have shifted a little bit. I no longer long for the night and dread the morning, I’ve been loving and admiring the morning just as much as I would the night. Living in New York particularly, I have realized that there is a certain time, usually around dawn in the winter and right after it in the summer when the city is particularly quiet and serene. I don’t know how many people have taken the time and had the opportunity to do this, but follow my advice; take a stroll through New York between 6:30am and 7:30am; you will see and feel the city like never before.
Because night life pretty much dies at 4am and the day life usually starts after 8:30am, there is this window of time, where everything has been cleaned and rearranged for the next day, when the city is just waiting for the next day to begin, and everything is perfectly quiet and in place. Union Square feels like an empty movie set, impeccable, Madison Square Park and its beautiful foliage seems proud of existing, the streets of Greenwich Village have an inexplicable glow and midtown, more precisely Times Square, looks like a postcard picture, minus the people, the smell of garbage, street kebabs and the noisy traffic.
In fact, during the “limbo-hour”, as i like to call it, the entire city probably lives its quieter moment in the day. All deliveries have been made, there are no trucks roaming around, all store fronts are still closed, people are still getting ready for work, and there are usually no work shifts beginning at this hour, so you will only see the occasional person going from point A to B because there is a place to be, or the occasional jogger. In the summer, limbo-hour is particularly special, the day has this beautiful natural light that almost seems fake, and the heat is gentle, followed by a warm-nearly-cool breeze that caresses the skin. Walking calmly and observing the scenery is not only a possibility but a true requirement at this time of day.
Don’t get me wrong now, i haven’t turned my back against the night, i still enjoy it very much, and i would say it’s one of the most exciting and alive times for any city, especially New York, that’s when everyone is out of work, meeting friends, having drinks, extending the happy hour into a night out at the clubs and maybe hitting two or three clubs in the same evening. At night is also a great time to walk around and see the city in a different light, you get to observe things that you usually wouldn’t in the rush of day to day life, the lights are bright and beautiful and no matter what time of the year in New York, the nights are always festive. The holiday season though is when the New York night truly shines, the Christmas lights are out, the ice skating rinks are open and there is a happy glow wherever you look at, especially if the streets are white with snow.
So, what has happened to me i believe, is a simple shift in my heart, i started to admire and love the mornings just as much as i love the nights, and to find balance i have chosen to cut my nights short and add some hours to the morning; instead of sleeping in, i now wake up earlier, take a walk, read the newspaper and try to get to my day earlier, so that hopefully i can also have it finished earlier to enjoy more of the night. And it all comes full circle. It’s a great trade off and i still get to stay away from the afternoons, and that is an entire different issue, but let’s not get there just yet, i am still in my early love affair with the morning after all, i’m honey-mooning.
Have a good day.