Gotham Soul- Standing

Lower Manhattan Christmas Eve

She stands tall. Gotham dreams of a place unknown and known. A legacy thrown into turmoil, she breathes.

Her. guts scream.

Her power unseen.

She grapples with the visitors and the takers of her streets.

A queen, taken from her throne and thrown about like a beggar in her own neighborhood.

She stood tall, and she will again. The threading of her story is still in the making. Patterns left unfinished and long forgotten, will rise like a falcon over a clear sky. Triumphant, confronting, scrutinizing our every move.

This lady is still about liberty underneath the layers of depravity. She’s my sanctuary.

Nothing is more iconic and telling of New York life than during the holiday season. Rockefeller center and Macy’s light display, the skating rink in Bryant Park. Landmarks, and points of interest. Many more tourists come during Christmas and New Year’s eve than any other time of year. What I’ve always been drawn to and notice is the other side of the spectrum. Noticing the loneliness, the isolation and the art of the Christmas hustle. What makes this city especially harsh during the holidays; is that they are treated as a commodity, and everyone who does work during them is part of that mechanism.

This year I chose to ( was forced ) spend the holidays in the city. Work kept me here so I used the opportunity to take this unavoidable staycation and treat myself to a little bit of a tourist viewpoint.

New York has two ( at least) worlds; one of opulence and tourist attractions and one of familiar locality. Small local joints, people who know each other and greet you on the street, and an absence of frivolity and pretense.

Real New Yorkers however they might be depicted in movies and television; are a caring, loving people and the heartbeat of this city, and when you get to know them, some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Staying here during the holidays in what seemed an almost empty metropolis, gave me a chance to meet and actually talk to many more people I otherwise would have overlooked. Stay open to possibilities in the year to come, you never know where they will take you.

Happy Fucking New Year.

Eleana Kouneli

A former dancer, current yoga teacher, writer, curious traveler and wild soul. My fuel and desire is to learn from others and spread healing and joy as I go. Follow my adventures and see where they lead you! All the stories are true, all the poems are real and all the writing is mine. Enjoy

One comment

  • Eleana, Even though I have now (Shocking!!!) lived away from The City more than in it, New York is in my Blood, my soul, my viscera… New Yorkers are, as you wrote, “..a caring, loving people, the heartbeat of the city.” They are friendly and open and willing to help when needed, at least that was always my experience. Your first video captures that aspect when the walkers allowed the bike rider through. Anyone who lives in The City knows the unwritten aspects of existence within “Her” bounds. These are not “rules” as much as co-existence in a very tumultuous environment, the agreed upon realities of our existence. And most certainly, Happy Fucking New Year!✊🏼❤️

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