Monday 7 May 2012: Bright Lights, Tired City
I just love Mondays! I wish every day was a Monday. Let's do away with Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and have more Mondays. That would be so much fun. But enough with that as it seems all I have been doing is complaining lately.
Anyway, the day ended brilliantly both figuratively and literally. After a series of meetings and calls, a client and I ended the day with an amazing dinner and a walk around the city. The lights of Times Square seemed to be brighter than ever tonight and the crowds were extremely light. My client peeled off at his Times Square hotel and, before taking the train down to Tribeca for the night, I wanted to soak up a bit more of the great white way. It can be a bit of a placebo when one never sees the sun in a Manhattan meeting room. While I was nearing the southern end of the square, I played with the fish eye lens a bit in front of the Times Square NYPD early response station.
Earlier in the day, I caught the L train from Nolita up to Midtown for a meeting. I actually got a seat and, half way through the train ride, I looked at the bench across from me and four of the seven people seated on it were sleeping or dozing off and one was in a self induced eyes-wide-open coma. I know that New York is "the city that never sleeps" but I found this odd. It made me think of the fact that we, like other countries, have become a nation of sleep deprived citizens. Perhaps it is the ever increasing demands that employers thrust upon their workers. Or, it is the modern day complexities of the family life including the need for double wage earners. It may also be self inflicted as we all try to balance the amount of data and relationships that we allow to be thrust at us whether it be from cell phones, television, the internet or electronic gaming. What ever the reason, one has to ask......"where and when does this stop?"
I think of the simple life which existed in this country just fifty years ago. Eight hour work days were the norm, not the exception for most workers. Parents and children gathered nightly for dinner rather than shuttling from one soccer practice to the next. Communications consisted of one telephone line and the television had three channels. Life may have been more boring and austere, but it was likely far better in terms of rest and relaxation.
I am not saying I long for those days and I willingly embrace the modern technologies and their ability to enhance our relationships and to create more efficiencies with regard to the use of our time. But, when - in the middle of the day - I see more than 50% of the seated passengers on a train in obvious need of sleep, I ask myself, if these are self inflicted burdens, have we really carved out for ourselves a higher quality of life. Have we allowed the scale to go too far to one side? Should we "just say no" to complexities in our lives? Should we decide to actually be bored from time to time? Should we actually work to live rather than live to work?
I would imagine the answers to these questions cannot be right or wrong. Instead, the answers to these questions are simply personal preferences and, hence, everyone will have a different answer. Whatever the answer might be for each person, I think the important thing is to ask it of ourselves. I know I need a break soon and I believe it is just around the corner. I hope those on the train with me will be provided, or will provide for themselves, the same opportunity.
And with that, I am turning to bed. I have not been near the computer all day.....not even for a sneak peak or random comment. I cannot remember a day in the last 75 or so where my time on blipfoto has been zero. But today appears to be that day. Thank you for your kind comments on my hotel rant and that awful emergency blip image. I will be back home Wednesday and should be better positioned to do that which I enjoy and "hang" with you here.
I like this better in BIG and you can see the police officer at his desk