Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold nose, warm heart

I spent much of Valentine's Day walking around Chelsea and Greenwich Village with my friend Michael. It was chilly, necessitating unfashionable but warm hats and gloves. My borrowed City Secrets New York guidebook led us to Three Lives, a tiny yet remarkably stocked bookstore on West 10th.

I have long wanted to learn more about Rumi, the ancient poet and mystic. I found a copy of The Essential Rumi, and starting skimming the poems. A hint of red peeked out from the pages. I pulled out a small paper heart, on which someone had written "You are loved." Astonished, I turned it over. "Yes, you" it said.

The bookstore staff were just as delighted and mystified as I was. When asked if they had deliberately placed hearts in certain books as a random act of kindness, they simply laughed and said no but wished they could take credit.

As I've been reflecting on this small heart-warming gift, I realize that it's symbolic of my experience of New York. I moved here for my dream job in December, despite having sworn many years ago that I would never live in this city. Too much and too many, I thought. Too many people, too many tall buildings blocking out the sun, too much pollution. And yet- I have, to my surprise, become enchanted by the city and its unexpected charms. It, too, is my unexpected valentine. This blog is my story as it unfolds.


  1. What a lovely NY valentine. In fact, I think that's the most romantic Valentine's Day story I've heard.

    Can't wait to read more of your tales from the big apple.

  2. So excited to read about your adventures and get to "talk" to you more often through this strange world that is blogging. Hooray! And equally glad you're enjoying your big decision to leap.

  3. Isn't that beautiful - a Valentine from the great beyond! I love that.

    Looking forward to reading more from this new New Yorker!

  4. Oh.....Rumi....Iran...Afghanistan....
    'Meetings with Remarkable Men" Gurdjieff,

    We are loved....yes us!!

  5. I have just come across your blog and am enchanted. I have spent my morning 'catching-up' on your past posts, I wanted to read more and find out more, visit the city through your eyes. Your blog is beautiful, I feel like I should take notes for my next visit to the city, the button shop, the cupcake places, those fascinating mosaics on the subway wall... I am so excited to read you, Welcome to the blogoshpere!