By Polo Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
Coming back from a terrific business/vacation trip from New York City and feeling the experience, the rhythm and love of a city that could care less why you are there; it just wants you to stay awake and experience as much of it as you can survive. I am excited to get to know it better, if this trip was a glimpse into a future, however limited or expansive, I look forward to it.
There are glaring differences that anyone who travels or has lived in both Los Angeles and the Empire State feels. It seems they were created to complement each other, but not necessarily to compliment each other. Being my first trip to New York, I am sure some folks are already rolling their eyes, but its okay, that’s very… something.
We walked for at least 10 miles a day, I know this because one of my fellow travelers has a device that helped count the number of steps, now I know why and who it was invented for; New Yorkers. I was in great company with a local who now lives in LA and with a well versed historian/filmmaker from the Midwest, Missouri to be exact, who also now resides in Los Angeles. He admitted LA is probably now his home, but New York holds a fascination for him because of its place in the history of the US. They both gave me the gift of experience and story and the only gift I could offer was to listen closely, intently and allow myself to be guided and filled with the gifts my business family, who have now become my close friends, gave me. Experiencing first hand and for the first time the beauty and the rhythm of this legendary city, I can see why so many are attracted to its pace and its possibilities, but you must be ready for it. It takes a strong constitution to be able to accept its offering and a strategic mind to be able to maneuver its challenges.
There is one thing I was reminded of, we all need to travel and also create our own future, but we can’t do it in an environment that seeks to ensnare you because of the way we are taught to use others, transactional relationships won’t last, as they won’t build a foundation necessary to survive and especially thrive. I was once asked “what do I get out of this,” regarding a non-profit program for children and youth. It woke me up to a fact; do not expect all to do good things just because they are good. But that is beside the point, although a strong lesson.
New York, it seems, was built to allow people to find their place and themselves, even as others try to make it impossible. This city was built on responses to tragedy, with a hope to be as best a host as it can be; or so it seems. The people I met were beautiful, inside and out, and joyful and hopeful.
The need for survival, at times, overtakes the need to be the best version of ourselves, we see it all the time, and its hard to fight the need. At times, it feels as if we can’t seem to catch a break because pursuing what is most profitable, is just easier, but we must focus on our humanity and our community, all of it.
On the flight back I was curious to watch the classic film “Miracle on 34th Street.” I was mostly curious because of having visited the Macy’s on 34th street and my friend, a certified cinephile and expert, explained that it was the location for the film among other intriguing facts. The film of course has rightfully earned the title of a classic story and it gained a new believer; Santa, I believe. Although “It’s a Wonderful Life” still seems to be top of mind for most folks on Christmas, “Miracle on 34th Street” certainly gives us another opportunity to believe in the joy, generosity and all those great feelings that Christmas should inspire in all of us. One of my favorite quotes is when Fred Gailey says “faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to,” and it is meant to reminds us that we can live in a world that is more than what we see and experience as individuals and to see and seek what it could be for all. The spirit of the season is here, what you do with it is clearly your choice; choose the well being of all.