Brooklyn Museum (Photo Credit: Omari Akil)

Dear New York City Winter, We’re Cool.

New York City Winter I was really skeptical about you. Most of what I know about you comes from RomComs where somebody ends up making snow angels in an effort to find their so-called soulmate. I figured that was mostly fiction and that I might be unable to face the harsh reality of cheek biting winds and icy subway tunnels. What I actually found was mostly pleasant.

The flight into LaGuardia Airport that touched down a week after the start of new year didn’t seem like a great idea at first. It still doesn’t seem like a great idea, considering I’ve never been north of Virginia between September and April. I tried to explain to you that I was born in New Orleans and that’s just something we don’t do. Fortunately, my desire to actually live life and explore the world overrides my southern comfort instincts. But seriously, I’m going to need you to stop giggling about this past weekend if you want me to keep talking to you.

You did keep all your promises and that’s something I appreciate. You told me I might need some extra layers so I reluctantly packed them. I traded in a third pair of shoes for two extra sweaters. Anyone who knows me knows how much I like shoes, so this was admittedly more difficult than it needed to be. But since you also promised some excellent shopping opportunities, I decided to trust you yet again. When the temperature dropped into the teens, I was glad that I did. You could have warned me about the cold feet though.

It snowed for the entire day on the first day of my visit. I’m going to be brutally honest here. I enjoyed it. I don’t particularly like the snow in North Carolina. It basically destroys everything it touches there. The entire state shuts down. You, New York, were something special (albeit from my limited perspective). You handled it as nonchalantly as a hot dog eating contest winner at a Chinese buffet. Within a couple hours, your streets were clear and your infinite number of sidewalks were being shoveled without gripe. You kept the stage lights on and the music playing. I did my best to follow suit. When I felt the sting of the wind on your wider avenues, my scarf played defense as I continued with a persistent stride. Nothing could stop you and I felt that strength.

Then you took your foot off the gas. You warmed up enough to let me walk through Midtown with my gloves and hat tucked away. It felt like you were letting your guard down. You felt vulnerable and you let me see that. Thank you. We’re closer now than we ever were. I feel like this is just the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

If you were a new item on a menu, I’d probably order you a second time. If you were a car mechanic, I’d probably come back the next time I needed my brake pads replaced. If this trip was a first date, I’d probably text you in the morning. I think you know what I’m saying. See you soon.

Your friend,

Omari Akil

This post is for the Writing Cooperative 52-Week Writing Challenge (Week 2)

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