We all have them. A favorite place we like to visit. Not a whole city, but a tiny corner, a park bench or favorite coffee shop that somehow becomes our happy place. This is where we go to think, to wonder, to relax, or just to be.
We have a favorite New York place. If I were planning to find such a place it would probably be more isolated than ours. It would have more quiet, fewer distractions, less chaos and certainly less controversy. But our place became our place by chance.
It didn’t happen on our first visit. It came into its own as an accumulation of “happiness points” that began to stack up over numerous visits. Maybe it was the collage of humanity that we saw and watched as they gathered in individual worlds to share our space.
Perhaps it was the view, a 360 vision of the best of New York City. Some days it seems like a carefully crafted short film complete with characters, conflict, resolution, protagonists and antagonists, drama and comedy.
The drama almost ended it all. The controversy of statues cast its shadow on our getaway place. First defiled with paint, then surrounded by fences and armed guards, our place sat sadly deserted, void of the activity it had staged for so many years.
This week our place was liberated. The fences removed, the guards have disappeared. Activity is returning. Just a little scare in the madness of today’s world.
Columbus wasn’t a perfect man. I have not found such a person yet, but the tribute that holds his name is a celebration of those who lived on the edge exploring new worlds. It is of bravery and vision. It is about enduring the criticism and ridicule that come with a perceived folly that turns out to be history changing.
I am so glad to have Columbus back. This gift from Italy is a salute to the new world that we have created. One known for its diversity, freedom and free speech. And that is what I find here.
It’s okay if you don’t like Columbus, but please let me enjoy my special place.